A very simple bolognese pasta sauce recipe that replaces the need to buy stir-in sauces, such as Dolmio sauce. Takes around 30 minutes to make, but most of this time is simmering.

By making your own pasta sauce you save yourself a bit of money, a jar of stir-in bolognese sauce is normally around £1 and this recipe is a fraction of that if you buy the cheap chopped tomatoes. It also means you can pimp the sauce with some vegetables or spices of your choice. Why not add a chilli pepper, some mushrooms or a courgette. The choice is yours. It can be used a base for a spaghetti bolognese recipe, or even a pasta bake. Anything that requires a tomato based sauce.

Ingredients - Bolognese pasta sauce recipe

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of tomato purée 
  • 1 small or half a large onion 
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a pinch of salt and a grind or three of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar 
  • a couple of teaspoons of herbs (I normally use 1 tsp of basil & 1 tsp of oregano)
  • a small sprinkle of sugar 

How to make the Bolognese pasta sauce

Chop the onion and put in a saucepan over a low to medium heat with a touch of olive oil. We want the onion to gently sweat and not burn. Chop the garlic finely or use a crusher. Add to the saucepan stirring now and again to make sure that neither the onions or garlic burn.

When they have become soft and translucent open the tin of chopped tomatoes and add to the saucepan along with the tomato purée, salt, pepper, sugar, herbs and vinegar. Give it a stir and bring to a simmer. Don't worry about the vinegar smell, this will disappear.

Let it simmer, for twenty minutes or so, or until to tomatoes are soft enough to squash with the back of a spoon.

That's it, complete. You can now use your homemade bolognese pasta sauce just like a stir in sauce from a jar. It can be prepared for a meal early and kept in fridge until you are ready to use it. I wouldn't suggest keeping it too long before you use it, maybe a day or two. I dare say you could freeze it if you have a suitable container.


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