Pasta RecipesRecipes

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Mum has created a bolognese that is not authentic, but it’s still delicious. Her weeknight staple is packed with beef and bacon – a combination we can all get behind. Mum likes to make sure her kids are healthy, so she has hidden vegetables in the recipe..

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese
Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Quick Weeknight Bolognese

This quick pasta sauce is a favourite. While Italians might cringe at the recipe, they would flock to make it. Growing up, it was a family staple.

It is easy to feed many hungry family members with a staple such as beef mince.

Ingredients & Substitutes

Jump To Full Recipe Measurings

  • Beef Mince- We only use beef mince in this recipe. If you would like to add pork, then use a ratio of 2:1 – 500g/ 1lb beef and 250g/ 0.5lb pork.
  • Bacon- Middle bacon is good, but you can also use pancetta (or guanciale) for that salty kick like we use in No Cream carbonara.
  • Past- Spaghetti or fettuccine is great. But use whatever pasta you and your family like. We use a little over 80g/2.8oz dried pasta per person. This recipe makes 6 servings.
  • Red wine – Dry, red wine that is dry and not sweet will work well. Grab a cheap cabernet or Shiraz to add. We recommend buying boxed wines so that you have them in your pantry at all times. They are also cheaper! If you need to, substitute with beef stock.
  • Diced tomatoes – Uses two cans of 400 g / 14.oz and recommends Mutti. Otherwise, look for San Marzano tomato or Roma tomato to get that rich tomato taste. Use passata or our fresh pasta sauce.
  • Hidden Vegetables- Use yellow, white or brown onion. Adds carrots and squash to her hidden vegetables. These vegetables can be substituted for celery or parsnips, as well as yellow squash.
  • Secret sauces – add a dollop of tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. If she’s making a smoky sauce, she’ll add paprika BBQ sauce and even a few drops of liquid smoke!
A Spaghetti Bolognese on a Plate
A Spaghetti Bolognese on a Plate


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Stir fry the onions and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the bacon is browned. Add the beef mince.
  3. Pour in Red Wine, and cook for 5-10 minutes until liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Then add the zucchini and carrot. Continue to fry for a few minutes and mix well.
  5. Pour in the diced tomato. tomato puree. tomato/ketchup. Worcestershire Sauce. Stir until well combined. Continue to simmer at medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir through. Or, place the pasta in serving dishes with Bolognese on top.


Keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Or portion out the pasta and freeze for up to three months. If possible, keep the pasta and sauce separate.

If you want to reheat the pasta, heat it on low in the microwave. You can also add some water if the pasta has absorbed the liquid.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 800g tomatoes (chopped)
  • 500g Pasta
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 tsp garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 750g beef (mince)
  • 5 Slice Bacon (diced)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 60 ml red wine (shiraz or cabernet work well)
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce / ketchup
  • 1 carrot  (grated)
  • 1 zucchini (grated)


  • In a large pan, heat the 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Stir fry the 2 tsp of garlic and 1 onion for 2-3 minutes, until translucent.
  • Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the bacon is browned.
  • Pour 60 ml of red wine into the pan and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, approximately 5-10 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Stir in the carrots and zucchini and continue to fry for a few minutes.
  • Pour in the 800g chopped tomatoes, followed by 3 tbsp of tomato paste, 4 tablespoons tomato sauce/ketchup, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low.
  • Cook the 500 g according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir through. Or, place the pasta into serving dishes with the Bolognese on top.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Back to top button