Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr

For lovers of hearty Italian cuisine, the Spaghetti Bolognese is a staple. Today, I’m sharing the Hairy Bikers’ version of this beloved dish.

What are Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

The Hairy Bikers are renowned British chefs known for their flavorful and authentic recipes. Their take on Spaghetti Bolognese offers a rich and satisfying taste, perfectly blending traditional and unique elements.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Authentic Flavor: The recipe captures the true essence of Italian cuisine.
  • Ease of Preparation: It’s straightforward, making it perfect for both new and seasoned cooks.
  • Perfect for Gatherings: This dish is a crowd-pleaser, suitable for family dinners or gatherings.

Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese Ingredients

To make this soup, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Minced Beef: 500g (ensure it’s lean for best results)
  • Onion: 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
  • Celery: 2 sticks, trimmed and finely sliced
  • Carrots: 2 medium-sized, finely diced
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • Mushrooms: 150g, preferably small portobello or chestnut, wiped and sliced
  • Plain Flour: 1 tbsp
  • Red Wine: 150ml
  • Chopped Tomatoes: 1 x 400g can
  • Tomato Purée: 2 tbsp
  • Beef Stock Cube: 1
  • Caster Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Herbs: 1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
  • Bay Leaves: 2
  • Spaghetti: 375-450g dried
  • Seasoning: Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated for serving

Step-by-Step Instruction to Make Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese

Setting Up:

  • Start by preparing all your ingredients. Ensure that the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic are finely chopped. Slice the mushrooms and set them aside.

Beginning with the Basics:

  • In a large non-stick saucepan, combine the minced beef with the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. This melding at an early stage ensures a harmonious blend of flavors.

Cooking the Mince:

  • Dry-fry this mixture over medium heat. Remember to stir periodically using a wooden spoon. In about 8–10 minutes, the beef should lose its pink color, and the vegetables will begin to attain a golden hue.

Adding Mushrooms:

  • Incorporate the sliced mushrooms into the pan. Let them cook with the mince and vegetable mix for an additional 2–3 minutes. Mushrooms add a beautiful depth of flavor and texture.

Building the Sauce:

  • Evenly sprinkle flour over the pan contents; this will help thicken the sauce. Mix thoroughly to ensure it’s well distributed.
  • Gradually pour in the wine, followed by the canned tomatoes and tomato purée.
  • Add 300ml (or 12 fl oz) of cold water to dilute and create the right sauce consistency.

Flavor Infusion:

  • Crumble the beef stock cube over the mixture — this intensifies the savory richness.
  • Sprinkle in the caster sugar and your chosen herbs. This balances the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Season with freshly ground black pepper and give everything a thorough stir.
  • Bring this vibrant mix to a gentle simmer. Once you see bubbles forming, lower the heat.

Low and Slow Cooking:

  • Allow the sauce to simmer gently and uncovered for 30–40 minutes. This will help the flavors meld beautifully. Occasionally give it a stir to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.

Preparing the Spaghetti:

  • In a separate large pot, bring salted water to a rolling boil. The water’s saltiness should be reminiscent of the sea.
  • Gently add in the spaghetti. Using a wooden spoon, stir to ensure the strands are separated, preventing clumping.
  • It’s vital to have ample water in the pot so the spaghetti can move freely.
  • Cook the spaghetti for 10–12 minutes or as instructed on its packaging.

Finishing the Sauce:

  • While your spaghetti is bubbling away, shift your attention back to the sauce. Turn up the heat slightly, letting it simmer for an additional 10 minutes. You’re looking for a reduced, rich, and thickened sauce. Regular stirring is key.
  • Season further if needed, ensuring the perfect harmony of flavors.


    • Once the spaghetti is perfectly al dente, drain it using a colander.
    • Divide the spaghetti among warm bowls. This ensures your meal remains hot while eating.
    • Generously ladle the aromatic Bolognese sauce over the spaghetti.
    • Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese for that touch of Italian authenticity.

Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese

How do I Serve Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

For an optimal dining experience with the Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese:

  1. Heat Matters: Ensure the dish is served hot. To maintain its warmth, consider pre-heating your serving bowls or plates.
  2. Presentation: Neatly twirl the spaghetti onto plates or into bowls. Generously ladle the Bolognese sauce over the top, ensuring every serving is rich and hearty.
  3. The Final Garnish: A sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese not only elevates the presentation but also adds a depth of flavor. As it melts into the hot Bolognese, it imparts a creamy texture that perfectly complements the dish.

What do I Serve With Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

While the Spaghetti Bolognese is a substantial dish on its own, adding side dishes can elevate the meal and create a well-rounded dining experience:

  • Green Salad: A crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast to the rich Bolognese sauce. Ingredients like cherry tomatoes, olives, and cucumber can add a Mediterranean touch.
  • Garlic Bread: The buttery and aromatic flavors of garlic bread provide a delightful accompaniment, perfect for soaking up any leftover sauce.
  • Wine Pairing: Opt for a medium-bodied red wine, like a Chianti or Merlot. These wines can complement the hearty meat sauce and accentuate its spices.

Tips and Mistakes to Avoid for Making the Best Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese

To truly master the Spaghetti Bolognese, it’s vital to note these key points:

  • Quality Ingredients: The foundation of a great Bolognese starts with high-quality ingredients. Fresh vegetables, choice minced beef, and authentic Italian tomatoes can make a world of difference.
  • Simmering Time: Patience is essential. Allowing the sauce to simmer will enable the flavors to meld and deepen. Quick cooking might leave you with a less harmonious flavor profile.
  • Pasta Perfection: Spaghetti should be cooked to al dente, meaning it retains a slight bite. Overcooking can lead to a mushy texture that won’t hold the sauce well.
  • Salted Water for Pasta: When boiling the spaghetti, ensure the water is salted. This seasons the pasta from the inside out and brings out its best flavor.

How do I reheat Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

Reheating the Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese requires some care to ensure that the dish retains its original flavor and texture.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Separation: If possible, store the spaghetti and Bolognese sauce separately. This allows for even reheating and prevents the pasta from becoming too soft.

Microwave Method:

    • Place the sauce in a microwave-safe dish, covering it loosely with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.
    • Reheat on medium power in 2-minute intervals, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
    • For the spaghetti, sprinkle a few drops of water over it (to prevent drying out) and microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot.

Stovetop Method:

    • Pour the Bolognese sauce into a saucepan and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
    • For the spaghetti, you can quickly reheat it by plunging it into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute or reheating it in a separate pan with a touch of olive oil.

Oven Method (ideal for larger quantities):

    • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
    • Place the Bolognese in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil. Heat for about 15-20 minutes or until hot throughout.
    • The spaghetti can be laid out on a separate baking tray, lightly drizzled with olive oil, and reheated for about 10 minutes.

Serve Immediately:

Once reheated, serve immediately for the best flavor and texture. Optionally, garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan and enjoy!


How long can I store leftover Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

Leftover Spaghetti Bolognese can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. If you plan to store it longer, consider freezing it, where it can last for up to 3 months. Remember to reheat thoroughly before serving.

Can I substitute any ingredients in the Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

Yes, while the original recipe provides a specific flavor profile, you can make substitutions based on dietary needs or preferences. For instance, minced turkey can be used in place of beef, or gluten-free spaghetti can replace regular pasta. However, substitutions might alter the final taste slightly.

What makes the Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese unique?

The Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese stands out due to its authentic blend of traditional Italian ingredients with the Bikers’ signature touch. This recipe focuses on depth of flavor, ensuring every bite offers a harmonious blend of meat, tomatoes, and seasonings.

Can I make a vegetarian version of the Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese?

Absolutely! You can replace the minced beef with alternatives like lentils, mushrooms, or plant-based meat substitutes. These ingredients will still absorb the rich flavors of the sauce, offering a delicious vegetarian variant of the dish.


With this guide, you’re equipped to make a delicious Hairy Bikers Spaghetti Bolognese. Perfect for any day of the week, it’s sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy your meal!

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