Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr Total Time: 2 Hr 30 Mins

Spaghetti bolognese is one of the most popular and comforting dishes in the world. It’s a simple yet delicious meal that can be enjoyed by everyone. But how do you make the perfect spaghetti bolognese?

If you’re looking for a foolproof recipe that will impress your family and friends, look no further than Mary Berry’s bolognese ragù. Mary Berry is a renowned British cook and author who has been sharing her recipes and tips for over 60 years. She is known for her classic and elegant dishes that are easy to follow and full of flavor.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s bolognese ragù with pappardelle, a wide and flat pasta that is ideal for soaking up the rich and meaty sauce. This recipe is adapted from Mary Berry Everyday, a cookbook that features some of her best and most loved recipes.

What is Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe?

Mary Berry’s Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic Italian dish that features a rich and meaty sauce made with pork and beef mince, combined with tomato paste, passata, wine, cream, and herbs. This savory sauce is slowly baked to deepen its flavors and is then served over pappardelle pasta, garnished with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

Why Mary Berry’s Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe is a Must-Try:

  • Simple and Accessible Ingredients: This recipe is straightforward, requiring ingredients typically found in your pantry or fridge, eliminating the need for any special or hard-to-find items.
  • Hearty and Fulfilling: The dish is both hearty and satisfying, perfect for filling you up on cold, rainy days or whenever you’re in need of comforting food.
  • Customizable to Taste: Its versatility allows for easy customization. Adjust the quantity of vegetables, meat, cheese, and herbs to suit your personal preferences.
  • Rich in Flavor and Aroma: Not only is it delicious and full of flavor, but it also fills your kitchen with an enticing aroma. The sauce is rich and meaty with a subtle sweetness from the tomato paste and cream, while the pasta is cooked to perfect al dente, complemented by the fresh, salty notes of cheese and basil.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese

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

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 500g/1lb 2oz lean minced pork
  • 500g/1lb 2oz beef mince
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 500g/1lb 2oz passata
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml/7fl oz beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 450g/1lb pappardelle pasta, to serve
  • Parmesan, to serve
  • Basil leaves, to garnish

You will also need a deep, lidded ovenproof casserole and a large pot of boiling water.

Instructions to Make It Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese

Here are the steps to make Mary Berry’s bolognese ragù with pappardelle:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and heat the oil

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Heat the oil in the casserole over a high heat.

Step 2: Fry the vegetables and the meat

Add the onion, carrot, and celery and fry for 5–6 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the pork and beef mince and fry until browned and any excess liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Add the tomato paste and the liquids

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the passata, tomatoes, stock, herbs and wine. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Bake the sauce

Cover the casserole with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake for about an hour.

Step 5: Stir in the cream and bake again

Stir in the cream, and return to the oven, with the lid off, for another hour, until tender and reduced.

Step 6: Cook the pasta and serve

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook according to packet instructions. Drain and check the seasoning. Divide the pasta between plates, top with the sauce, grate over some Parmesan, garnish with basil leaves, and serve.

Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese
Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese?

Mary Berry’s Spaghetti Bolognese pairs well with:

  • Pasta Choice: While pappardelle is recommended for its ability to hold the sauce, you can also use tagliatelle, linguine, or spaghetti.
  • Advance Preparation: The sauce can be made a day ahead and reheated before serving, enhancing its flavors.
  • Additional Flavor: Consider adding chopped bacon or pancetta to the sauce for extra depth.
  • Herb Varieties: Fresh thyme is preferred for its aromatic qualities, but rosemary, oregano, or parsley are also great alternatives.
  • Wine Selection: White wine offers a lighter flavor, but red wine can also be used for a richer taste.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese?

To make a great spaghetti bolognese, here are some straightforward tips:

  • Choosing Pasta: Pappardelle is a great choice for this sauce due to its large surface area which holds the sauce well. However, you can also use tagliatelle, linguine, or classic spaghetti.
  • Preparing the Sauce: It’s practical to make the sauce a day ahead. This not only develops the flavors but also makes serving easier. If needed, the sauce can be frozen for up to a month.
  • Adding Extra Flavor: For a richer taste, add some chopped bacon or pancetta when frying the onion, carrot, and celery. This adds a nice depth of flavor and texture to the sauce.
  • Herb Choices: You can use either fresh or dried thyme. Fresh thyme offers a more aromatic flavor, but dried works well too. Feel free to experiment with other herbs like rosemary, oregano, or parsley.
  • Wine Selection: Both red and white wines are suitable for this recipe. White wine gives a lighter flavor, or you can use chicken or vegetable stock as an alternative to beef stock.

These tips should help you make a delicious spaghetti bolognese that everyone will enjoy.

Variations of Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese?

You can customize this dish to your taste and preference by changing some ingredients or adding some extras.

Some possible variations are:

  • Leaner Version: Use turkey or chicken mince instead of pork and beef.
  • Extra Vegetables: Incorporate mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach into the sauce.
  • Plant-Based Option: Use vegan mince, soy cream, and vegan cheese for a vegan-friendly dish.
  • Low-Carb Alternative: Opt for gluten-free pasta or spiralized zucchini.
  • Spicy Twist: Add chili flakes, smoked paprika, or cumin for an extra kick.

How do I store Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese?

  • Separate Storage: Keep the sauce and pasta in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  • Duration: Store for up to four days in the fridge.
  • Freezing Option: Freeze the sauce in a suitable container for longer storage.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Spaghetti Bolognese?

Microwave Method:

  • Use a microwave-safe dish.
  • Reheat in 90-second intervals, stirring in between, until hot.

Oven Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Place spaghetti in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil.
  • Heat for about 15 minutes or until thoroughly warm.

Nutrition value

Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):

  • Calories: 762 kcal
  • Fat: 31.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.8 g
  • Protein: 38.9 g
  • Fiber: 7.8 g
  • Sodium: 386 mg
  • Sugar: 14.7 g

Related Recipes to Try


My Bolognese Sauce is Too Watery, How Can I Thicken It?

If your bolognese sauce is too thin, try simmering it uncovered over low heat to allow excess water to evaporate. Stirring in a small amount of tomato paste can also help thicken it. For a quick fix, a cornstarch slurry (mix equal parts cornstarch and cold water, then add to the sauce) can be effective.

The Flavor of My Bolognese is Bland, How Can I Enhance It?

Enhancing a bland bolognese sauce can be achieved by adding more seasonings such as salt, pepper, or herbs like basil or oregano. A splash of wine, Worcestershire sauce, or a bit of sugar can balance and deepen the flavors. Also, ensure you’re sautéing the vegetables well at the beginning to develop a richer taste.

Can I Make Spaghetti Bolognese Without Red Wine? What Are the Alternatives?

Absolutely! If you prefer not to use red wine, you can substitute it with beef, chicken, or vegetable stock. A bit of balsamic vinegar or non-alcoholic wine can also work to provide some depth to the sauce.

My Sauce is Too Acidic, How Can I Neutralize It?

If your bolognese sauce tastes too acidic, try adding a pinch of baking soda; it will neutralize some of the acidity. Alternatively, a little sugar or honey can also balance out the acidity. Adding dairy like cream or butter can also mellow out the flavors.


I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s spaghetti bolognese recipe. This is a classic and timeless dish that will never go out of style. It’s perfect for family dinners, date nights, or any occasion.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

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