Recipe: Spaghetti bolognese for students

Recipe: Spaghetti bolognese for students

Cooking on a budget

Hearty, filling meals that don't break the bank are welcome recipes for everyone, but they’re especially useful for students.

This simple beef ragù will easily feed a hungry crowd – and you really don’t need much sauce per serving. To make it go even further, try adding a small handful of lentils, some stock or another tin of tomatoes, and lots of chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery and mushrooms.

A few rashers of chopped streaky bacon fried in with the onions make another tasty addition. And don’t use the leanest mince – about 10% fat gives a good balance of fat and flavour. Any leftovers will also freeze well.

Ingredients for a hearty spaghetti bolognese

Ingredients for a hearty spaghetti bolognese

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 500g beef mince (10% fat)
  • 1 pinch dried mixed herbs or oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (70g)
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

To serve

  • 75g spaghetti per person, cooked as per packet instructions
  • Parmesan or other Italian hard cheese, grated


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a deep, lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the mince gradually, not all together, and fry until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the herbs and tomato puree, and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, rinsing the can with a few tablespoons of water and add to the sauce. Pour in the red wine and stir in the sweet chilli sauce.
  4. Cover with the lid and cook over a low heat for about an hour, stirring from time to time. Serve with the freshly cooked spaghetti and a sprinkling of Italian hard cheese.

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