DrygastDrygast, 2021-07-13

An everyday favorite for young and old.


  • Servings4 Portions


  • Cook Time120 min


An everyday favorite for young and old. I have cooked this basic recipe more times than I dare to count. There are lots of variations and ways to cook, but this is a simple, albeit time-consuming, variation that is made in the same pot. Is this a "genuine" bolognese? Probably not, but it is tasty.

If I make large batches, I usually fry the meat in a separate pot or frying pan and then combine before everything is simmering, but for 4 portions, a single frying pan is just fine. In the recipe, I use crushed tomatoes that work really well, but whole plum tomatoes get a little better. In addition to serving with pasta (Tagliatelli or Spaghetti), it can be used as a filling in a lasagna or pie as well as a topping on pizza.

Bolognese or "minced meat sauce" as we sometimes call it in Sweden is an immensely popular dish worldwide. Our Swedish minced meat sauce certainly differs a little from the Italian bolognese in that we can avoid wine, carrots and celery stalks. In fact, it is quite difficult to find any kind of "original" recipe for any of the dishes as there is a plethora of variations of both. With this variant of bolognese I try to make a slightly more adult variant of the minced meat sauce I grew up with. Among other things, red wine is now a requirement - do not worry about the alcohol as it boils away during cooking. Another thing we did not have in the variant from my childhood was the carrot and celery, both of which are now absolutely necessary as it gives a really full-bodied and good taste.

In Sweden, minced meat sauce began to appear in cookbooks during the 1950s, at the same time as the wave of labor immigration to Sweden from Italy. Minced meat sauce became a common dish from the 1960s. Spaghetti with minced meat sauce was the most common everyday dish in Sweden in 2020 and 2021 according to "Matrapporten".

The preparation of this sauce begins with a classic Italian "Soffritto" which is an expression of a mix of finely chopped onion, carrot and celery stalk. This mix is common all over the world and can e.g. found in French cuisine where it is called "Mirepoix". Traditionally, the ratio between the ingredients is 2-1-1, ie 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part stalk celery, but there are variations of course.

This dish is excellent to freeze in portion packs and pick out when you want a quick and easy meal. Bolognese also stays well in the fridge for a few days.

Some variations:
  • Replace minced meat (50/50 beef/pork) with minced beef, minced lamb, minced venison or minced chicken.
  • Add a little heat with a tablespoon of sambal olek or fresh chili.
  • Add some curry powder for a different experience.
  • Use as a filling in lasagna, pie, gratin, pirog or on pizza.
  • Use as a base for a chili con carne.



Nutrition Facts*

 TotalServing100 g
Energy1774 kcal443.5 kcal100 kcal
Carbohydrates72.02 g18.01 g4.06 g
Fat114.07 g28.52 g6.43 g
Protein103.07 g25.77 g5.81 g
Sugar45.06 g11.26 g2.54 g
Salt8.16 g2.04 g0.46 g

* The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using the ingredients available in the database. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


  1. Peel and finely chop the onion, celery and carrot.
  2. Fry the vegetables in olive oil for a few minutes.
  3. Add the minced meat and fry until cooked through.
  4. Add sliced ??garlic and tomato paste. Fry for a few minutes.
  5. Add red wine, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, thyme and oregano.
  6. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat.
  7. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Stir at regular intervals and add water if necessary.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve with Tagliatelli or Spaghetti and grated Parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil or parsley.