best ever spaghetti bolognese

Yes! The best ever spaghetti bolognese! Well no, you can do so much better by adding things like bone marrow or bacon or delicious dates but I don’t want to be responsible for any weigh-in-ladies getting slapped around the chops, so this is the best you can do within a reasonable amount of syns. We have done a syn free version way back when which you can find here.

Anyway, we weren’t going to post today but see we were discussing in bed this morning our old crushes. Everyone has them – that one celebrity that makes you damp and uncomfortable in the minnie-moo area. Because Paul’s common, most of his were characters from Eastenders because seemingly that was all that was on in the smokehouse where he grew up. Mine are a little more cultured. Pffft. Without further delay:

Paul’s old crushes – then and now


What can we take from this? Well, it certainly explains why he calls me Sonia during sex and makes me do a little turn on the trumpet to kick things off. It also demonstrates that, if you were lucky enough to have teenage Paul rub one out over the thought of you, you are blessed with immortality and NEVER AGE. Seriously, aside from the chap on the bottom who has upgraded his weirdly phallic beard into a decent sculpted affair and Sean from 5ive looking slightly more boss-eyed, no-one has changed!

Bonus mentions for: the fat Di Marco from Eastenders (who I couldn’t put into the pictures because there’s not a recent photo of him – luckily he hasn’t died. Well no, his acting career has. Bitch). Reese from Malcolm in the Middle.

James’ old crushes – then and now


Mine are a little more obvious, no? I ummed and aahed over that picture of Tyrone there – just to be clear, the actor is two years older than me so I’m SURE he’s over age then. AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE 16, SO GIVE ME A BREAK. Anyway Paul and I both agree he’s aged well and we were both aghast and stiff when that evil walking Afro was setting about his nethers with the hoover extension. Bears and BDSM, what can I say. Viktor Krum was quite possibly more a case of being in love with his red jacket and furry muff than anything to do with those strong, Slavic eyebrows and jaw. He does however seem to have aged into someone you’d see on the front page of a local paper being sentenced for ripping off old ladies for bogus roof repairs. Pity. Oh and Travis Fimmel – now there’s an interesting one. I just can’t think what attracted me about the top left picture as a young’un – I remember I used to pass a giant billboard for Calvin Klein’s Crave on the way to college and there’s just something that caught my eye. That kind of look is the antithesis of the type of man that Paul and I find attractive – which makes it all the more curious that he now looks like someone we’d both let sit on our face and pedal our ears. Eee, isn’t lust fun.

Bonus mentions: Rhino and Shadow from Gladiators. I swear they’re about 60% responsible for my homosexuality. Not because of their looks, as such, but rather their costumes. Good lord. Thank goodness we didn’t have 3D TV’s back in the day – we would have needed to move the settee back a good half a foot. I vaguely remember liking Toadfish from Neighbours but a quick look at google images reveals that this couldn’t have been true given he used to look like a tiny version of Penn from Penn and Teller – or, nineties fans, the Head of the Witches Council from Sabrina. I never had much time for the dreamboats like Harvey from Sabrina or Billy Kennedy from Neighbours. Too pretty. I used to enjoy Janice’s bit on the side in Coronation Street (Dennis?) – he’s a bit of a gay icon! Oh and Krycek from The X-Files. And Mulder! And poor Pendrell! I’d go on, but it’s too difficult to type with the keyboard constantly being nudged away from me. So let’s do the recipe!

I’m putting this recipe up so you have a reason to use up the rest of the wine you might have used for our previous recipe for dirty macaroni. But come on. We both know you drank it, you filthy lush.

best ever spaghetti bolognese

to make the best ever spaghetti bolognese you will need:

to make the best ever spaghetti bolognese you should:

  • bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions – although for fucks sake, it’s spaghetti – boil it, eat it – if you can’t manage that, perhaps it’s time to give Dignitas a call
  • meanwhile, heat a large pan over a high heat and add a little oil

Just jumping in for a second – we get asked a lot about what pans we use that are non-stick enough not to need loads of oil. Now, I know there’s loads out there made from ceramic or teflon or whatever, and they’re probably alright, but we bought some Le Creuset casserole dishes a few years ago and genuinely use the big casserole dish every single day – without anything sticking and (gasp) we clean it in the dishwasher. They are expensive – very expensive – but absolutely and utterly worth it. Buy cheap and buy twice, after all. Amazon currently have a discount – why not treat yourself?

  • add the mince and cook until browned
  • remove the mince from the pan using a slotted spoon into a bowl and set aside
  • in the same pan quickly cook the onions for 3-4  minutes
  • add the chopped garlic and cook for another 2 minutes
  • add the chicken stock to the pan to deglaze (i.e. get your wooden spoon and scrape all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan) and stir the onions often until the stock has reduced by half
  • add the wine to the pan and do the same again
  • add the bay leaves to the pan and the passata, bring to the boil
  • reduce the heat slightly and cook until it has thickened slightly, which will take about 6 minutes or so. add salt and pepper to taste
  • remove the bay leaves, add the mince and the spaghetti to the pan and mix to combine
  • serve with lots of black pepper, parmesan from your HEA and some basil leaves


If you’re looking for more pasta or beef recipes, click on the links below!

beefsmall pastasmall

Now I’m off to put my greengrocer’s tabard on for Paul.




13 thoughts on “best ever spaghetti bolognese

  1. I saw your post today & I just happened to be heading out to Lidl . So, I decided to give your bolognese recipe a go. Ab fab! Love it. Reducing the sauce makes such a difference, I don’t usually bother, but I will be doing this from now on. I’d post a pic for you if I could. Love it!

  2. My son killed my Le creuset casserole pan. I was driving home from work on my hands free walking him though making a spag bol of all things. He added the onion and garlic, stirred it and wandered off to play Fifa 2013 and left it to burn. He said it had caught a little but we wondered what the crunchy bits were. Turned out it was the enamel lining!! Pan dead. Enamel lning dead. Wedding present dead. As it’s only Australia that seem to have a Le creuset repair centre it had to go in the bin. Now the pan that cost £50 in Debenhams blue cross sale 1995 costs over £200. Gutted is not the word.

  3. Do you both (well, Paul definitely will!) remember Alex the vicar from 90’s Eastenders? I had a thing for him…and Jamie Theakston in the Live & Kicking days. Hormonal teenagers huh!? 🙂

    • Ha NOOOO the vicar was too wet! And he was after that lass with the huge lips wasn’t he? Sarah? PFFT. Give me a Phil sandwich any day! 😀

  4. My husband used to get called “Sean from 5ive” at school! At our wedding we named each of the tables after people we’ve been told we looked like. We didn’t tell our guests this, so they must have been a touch confused to find themselves sitting at the Ruby Wax, Tracey Barlow or Richard Beckinsale table (all me!) or the Sean from 5ive, Roland Gift or “That bloke from This is England” table (My hubster)!
    In my teens I had a pash for Jeremy Brett, the actor who played Sherlock Holmes in the Granada series and Brett Anderson from Suede! <3

  5. I was wondering how many people the dinner meals are supposed to serve? Love this website just found it yesterday and I’ve already cooked two meals 🙂

  6. Looks bloody lush Hun..I’m a fan of all the men James likes.. Travis Fimmel from the Vikings is so fit and I would love him as my bit of rough any day..x

  7. I’m a mum of two young ens’ and to save time I batch cook/prep for the slow cooker.

    If I were to cook this and freeze it, do you think it would turn out nice after still? Xx

  8. Nice little recipe – satisfying portions. Reducing liquid is a good tip, i’d do this again. Only improvement (personal taste) i’d make next time is a glug of hot chillie sauce, very nice though.

  9. Hello James and Paul,

    Please can you help.

    It’s probably me but where on here can I find the calories etc for this gorgeous recipe?

    Hoping you see this and respond! I’d be sooo grateful, only I don’t know how to use Myfitnesspal or whatever it is and work it out.

    Thank you, Donna 😘

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