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Recipe  •  13 May 2016


Best ever bolognese

Try this free recipe from Lantern Cookery Classics: George Calombaris.

This has to be one of the most frequently eaten dishes at the Australian dinner table. Make sure the boiling water for the pasta is as salty as the sea, and be careful not to overcook the spaghetti – it should still have some bite and texture. My version of this famous sauce has seventeen ingredients. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the (now not so) secret ingredients.




  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 300 g minced beef
  • 300 g minced pork
  • 300 g minced veal
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 400 g tin crushed tomato
  • 200 g tomato paste (puree)
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper
  • 400 g spaghetti
  • shaved parmesan and oregano sprigs (optional), to serve


Heat the olive oil in a large deep saucepan over medium–high heat and cook the onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes or until softened and coloured. Add the garlic, bay leaves and cloves and cook for another 1–2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the minced beef, pork and veal. Cook for 6 minutes or until browned, using a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Add the wine, nutmeg, cinnamon, tomato and tomato paste and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes; the sauce should have reduced and be rich. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the cloves.

When the sauce is ready, cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet instructions until al dente. Drain, then serve with the bolognese sauce, topped with shaved parmesan and scattered with oregano, if you like.

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