Chefs' Recipes

Neil Perry's spaghetti Bolognese

The perfect spag bog is a matter of taste, but Neil Perry's version has to be top of our list.

By Neil Perry
  • Serves 4
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Need a chef-approved recipe for spaghetti Bolognese? Then you need Neil Perry's recipe quick smart. After all, the perfect spaghetti Bolognese is a matter of taste, but the legendary chef's version has to be top of our list.


  • For frying: extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 100 gm smoky bacon, diced
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 400 gm minced beef
  • 400 gm minced pork
  • 500 ml full-bodied red wine
  • 600 gm tinned whole Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 400 gm spaghetti
  • To serve: freshly grated parmesan


  • 1
    Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, bacon and a little sea salt and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally - the vegetables should caramelise but not burn. Add the minced beef and pork and a little extra salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, to colour the mince well. Add the red wine and bring to the boil, then simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the thyme, taste, and check seasoning.
  • 2
    While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. When al dente, drain. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls, add the sauce and serve with some grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper.


This is a direct submission from our chef respondent and not a recipe we've put through the triple-testing of everything else we publish in the magazine and is therefore intended as a guide only. Please refer to the recipe given by our food director,
, for a tested and more detailed walk-through.