My mother’s delicious, family Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.

My Mum's spaghetti bolognese recipe via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

My mum is a pretty amazing cook. She’s also a cordon bleu trained chef – or rather she was in a former life. Despite the fact that we all live together in our multi generation household, it isn’t very often that Mum cooks – as the ‘matriarch’ of the family, with my young kids and the nature of my freelance work, I do the vast majority of the cooking, cleaning and general running of the house.

Then there are the weeks that Mum is off work, at home and I decide to ask her to cook for us… it’s heaven!

Firstly, it is always nice to have someone else do the cooking, isn’t it? I have about as much chance of Adam cooking (and us surviving his creation) as I have of winning the lottery when I haven’t bought a ticket, so this is my only opportunity. On top of that, ever notice how no matter how old you get, your mother’s cooking is SO comforting and transports you straight back to your childhood.

Last week Mum made us all some of her infamous spaghetti bolognese and there wasn’t a teaspoon left. Edie devoured it. Adam had thirds. The boys polished the plate and asked for seconds and I not only had a plateful with my courgetti, but I had it for the next two days for lunch. I posted the above picture on my social media and was instantly asked for the recipe by several people, so I asked Mum to share and she obliged me. Here is my darling Mum’s spaghetti bolognese recipe:

1 large onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, grated

2 rashers unsmoked bacon, chopped

500g minced beef (or for a healthier option, minced turkey)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1/2 the chopped tomato tin of water

1 heaped tablespoon tomatoe purée

1 teaspoon tomato ketchup

1 heaped teaspoon mixed herbs

1 heaped teaspoon basil

Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onions, garlic and bacon. Cook for 2-3 mins until softening and add the carrot, cooking for another 2-3 mins. Add the beef or turkey mince and stir until the meat is browning. Add the tinned tomatoes, water (which is just the empty tin refilled to the halfway mark so roughly 100-150ml I would guess?), ketchup, herbs and puree. Stir occasionally and cook for 30 minutes or for the best results ever put the whole lot in a slow cooker and abandon for the day (4-6 hours on low). Serve with courgetti or spaghetti. For little ones you could use mini pasta shapes with the bolognese.


H x


  1. Avatar March 15, 2016 / 10:57 am

    How lucky are you to have a CB trained chef as a mum!! Spag bol is a staple in oour household and this recipe sounds delish! Thanks for sharing x

    • Harriet March 15, 2016 / 3:12 pm

      Thanks Steph – I know, so very lucky indeed! H x

  2. Avatar March 10, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    This sounds delicious and easy to make. I must admit I usually tend to buy jars of sauce for convenience but do occasionally make my own.

    • Harriet March 11, 2016 / 10:17 am

      Oh me too Kizzy, I love to make it from scratch but I always have a bucket load of jars in the cupboard ready for when I need a whippet-like quick fix x

  3. Avatar March 9, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    This looks so delicious – Spag Bol is such a delicious comfort dish and this recipe looks yummy! Kaz x

    • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Mmm it really is – thanks for the lovely comment H x

    • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      I know Helen – I am super lucky! H x

  4. Avatar March 9, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    My stomach literally just rumbled whilst reading this! I really want to try courgette too – I feel like I’m the last person to have ever tried it! x

    • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      It’s soooo yummy! H x

  5. Avatar March 8, 2016 / 10:55 pm

    We don’t all have a spiralizer to make it look as awesome as yours though!! Lol! THis looks beautiful, I made a spag bol last week that tasted of nothing, I must try this one x

    • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Oh Ally you need one. It’s like a pure essential haha!! I love it. I relent that you could go with old fashioned (!!) spaghetti haha! H x

  6. Avatar March 8, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    My lot love spag bol 🙂 I make ours with veggie mince (quorn or similar) as myself and my eldest son are vegetarians. The kids also love it when I use the sauce for a lasagna instead! Definitely a family favourite here 🙂

    • Harriet March 16, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Ooohh I’ve never tried to veggie – I must give it a go! H x

  7. Avatar March 8, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    We love Spaghetti Bolognese and this is a great version of it. Definitely going to serve the Bolognese with courgette, that’s a great idea.

    Laura x

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      It is so nice with courgetti, honestly, give it a go! H x

  8. Avatar March 8, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Love a spagbol from scratch, nothing beats it. You mothers recipe looks and sounds delicious!!

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Thanks Kellie – it so is! H x

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