Bolognese Sauce in the Thermomix

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I’ve heard people say they don’t like bolognese sauce made in the Thermomix, because it’s bland, and turns to mush. Well, I beg to differ. You can’t blame the Thermomix for lack of flavour – that depends on what you put in, just as it does when you cook in a saucepan on the stovetop. And if it’s the texture that’s bothering you, let me reassure you it doesn’t have to be ‘mush’!

This is basically how I make my bolognese sauce; you can add to or subtract from it to make it the way you like it. You can use lamb, turkey or chicken mince instead of beef if you like. Or if you want a vegetarian version, leave out the meat and add extra veges (eggplant and/or orange sweet potato is nice), and more mushrooms. For a grain free version, serve on raw zucchini ‘noodles’, or steam thin strips of cabbage in the Varoma while you cook the sauce in the bowl.

If you like, you can mince your own meat first. I find I can often get a bulk rump cheaper per kilo than minced beef, so this is a great way to save money. It also means you can get a ‘chunkier’ sauce if that’s what you want. (And it’s also good to know that your mince is just ‘meat’, and doesn’t have lots of fat, gristle and water mixed in to bulk it out… and maybe other hidden additives and preservatives as well!)

To mince your meat: Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes (semi-frozen is easiest), weigh in 300-400g, and mince by setting the speed dial to the closed lid position and pressing the Turbo button 3 or 4 times. This will be chunkier than you probably want it, but remember it will break down a little during cooking.

Bolognese Sauce in the Thermomix
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large onion, halved
  2. 3 or 4 cloves garlic (to taste)
  3. 30g olive oil
  4. 500g vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
  5. 150g carrots, quartered
  6. 1 celery stick, quartered (including leaves)
  7. 100g zucchini, quartered
  8. half a red capsicum (opt)
  9. a large handful fresh basil, some fresh oregano & a sprinkle of fresh rosemary
  10. OR 2 tsp of dried Italian herbs
  11. 400g minced beef (or lamb, turkey or chicken)
  12. 100g thickly sliced mushrooms
  13. 60g semi-dried tomatoes (opt.)
  14. 100-150g sliced Kalamata olives (opt.)
  15. 120g tomato paste
  16. 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  17. 1 Tbspn Rapadura
  18. 2 Tbspns vegetable stock paste (or salt to taste)
  19. 50g red wine or water
Instructions
  1. Chop onion & garlic on speed 5 for 3 seconds
  2. Add oil and cook for 3 minutes at 100C, reverse, speed 1
  3. Add vegetables & herbs and chop roughly - speed 5 for 8 seconds; or chop longer for 'grated' veges
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 25-30 minutes at 100C, reverse, speed soft
Quirky Cooking https://www.quirkycooking.com.au/
While the pasta sauce cooks, I cook the pasta on the stovetop. Or if I’m doing a grainfree version, I use my Benriner to make zucchini ‘noodles’, or thinly slice cabbage and steam in the Varoma while the sauce cooks. (Use Varoma temp and add 50g more water, cooking for 25 minutes.)

If you’re cooking for less people, you can halve the recipe, add 100g water, and after 10 minutes cooking time add 250g raw pasta to the sauce and cook for 8-10 minutes more. (Make sure it’s on reverse, or you WILL have mush!)

So there’s some bolognese-sauce-making hints – tweak to taste!

66 Comments

  1. Rose Lenaghan says:

    Hi Jo, was in Townsville a month ago as my brother (who lived there) was taken very ill. Wish I could have been there to attend one of your classes as that would have been the best!
    My question is this: you use rapadura sugar in the sauce – do you need to use the sugar at all or does it do something extra to the sauce
    Cheers
    Rose

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Oh, thats a shame. Maybe next time πŸ™‚
      When making a bolognese sauce I always add a little bit of a sweetener, now that we are on gaps I use honey, but yes it definitely helps enhance the flavour of everything else in the sauce. Of course it is up to you though πŸ™‚

    • Kate Konrad says:

      Hi Rose, I was speaking to Italian family friends over the weekend and I was telling them that my 16 month old finds the tomato too acidic. The sugar is used to take away some of that acidity. She said only a tablespoon, like Jo, so nothing really in the grand scheme of things. I’m hoping to try it this week and see if my toddler likes it.

  2. Sammy Fletcher says:

    OMG I made this last night and it was so delicious… All my family loved it 3 kids and husband! Thank you x

  3. Jessica says:

    I have only recently purchased my TM5. In point 4 what do you mean by speed ‘soft’? Many thanks.

  4. Lauren says:

    hi there
    I have just cooked this and whilst the flavours are delicious, it was extremely ‘watery’. I used only 30g of red wine and no water. The consistency made it hard to enjoy. Suggestions?

  5. Monique says:

    Thank you QuirkJo, This is the best Spag Bog sauce in the Thermomix. I used your very simple clear instruction and utilised any veggies I had available, added a bit of this and that, as I usually do anyway. I din’t have to stir just chucked it in and hey presto, perfect Spag Bog Sauce, not sloppy at all. Many thanks!

  6. Monique says:

    Thank you QuirkJo, This is the best Spag Bog sauce in the Thermomix. I used your very simple clear instruction and utilised any veggies I had available, added a bit of this and that, as I usually do anyway. I din’t have to stir just chucked it in and hey presto, perfect Spag Bog Sauce, not sloppy at all. Many thanks!

  7. The best Spaghetti Bol ever. Was so tasty and easy to make. Will be making it again.

  8. Vasanthaparamasivam says:

    the mince cooked in the basket before being added to the sauce gives a chunkier sauce, which I much prefer.

  9. Naomi says:

    Made this tonight without olives and with brown sugar instead of rapadura, plus using Your Inspiration At Home herbs instead of fresh, and YIAH olive oil and balsamic instead of regular. Oh my goodness was it fantastic! Made a huge amount and I am so impressed by the amount of veggies crammed in there. I really wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, not being huge on mushroom, celery and zucchini, but it was so good. I’ll definitely be making this again and again! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  10. Naomi says:

    I made this last night with all ingredients except olives, using brown sugar instead of rapadura, and Your Inspiration at Home products in place of oil, balsamic, and the herbs.

    Oh my GOSH it was good! I couldn’t believe how much veg got packed in there while still tasting AMAZING! I tend to have to force veggies down as I dislike the taste of most, but I gave it a go with even my least favourites like the zucchini and mushroom; so glad I did!

    The only concern I had was after adding remaining ingredients in step #4. It all seemed to stay at the top while just the bottom got mixed with the blade, so I paused to push/mix everything around a couple of times. Maybe it would’ve happened on its own eventually, but I was too scared to risk it. I’m a nervous cook. Lol.

    At any rate, I’ll be adding this to my regular menu for sure! Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

  11. Leisa says:

    50g of water isn’t very much. Should that be 500g? Or is it definitely 50g? Thanks. πŸ™‚

  12. susan smith says:

    This is a fabulous recipe full of all the good things found in the fridge with no artificial additives. My family loved it. Great recipe πŸ™‚

  13. Porscha says:

    Can you use store brought mince in this recipe or will that turn to mush?

  14. Diana polizois says:

    Sorry to say but I just made this recipe 100% per the above and it turned out really watery! The mince was also in one big lump at the top still. I had to break it up myself. Not sure where I went wrong? Any thoughts?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      When you put the mince in, kind of crumble it in with your hands so it’s not in a lump, and if you need to you can mix on speed 2 until it’s combined, then cook. If it’s not thick enough, cook a little longer. πŸ™‚

      • Elle Baddour says:

        This recipe is amazing! Definitely invest in the best quality mince you can- it makes a huge difference as low quality mince is pumped with a lot of water. Thanks Jo, turned into homemade pies and the family loved them 😍😍

  15. Susie says:

    Finally!!!! I’ve found the secret ingredient! You’re amazing! I love spag bol but something was always missing in my opinion… just that little touch of something that I could never put my finger on…. VINEGAR!!!! Best bolognese ever!!! Thank you so so so much!!!

  16. Rebecca O'Mahony says:

    Just made this recipe and it is delicious. Never though to to pop olives in, so so so good. Your recipe is a winner thanks, your a real genius!! ????????????

  17. liz says:

    A winner in our house and it makes enough for dinner and lasagna as well! Light years beyond other recipes that I have tried. Thank you heaps πŸ™‚

  18. Kim says:

    Is it possible to do a double batch? If so what would the cooking time be. I would like to freeze half

  19. Marion says:

    Hi Jo, can I double this recipe successfully?
    Thanks
    Marion

  20. Rachel says:

    Can I use tinned chopped tomatoes? I live in NT where fresh tomatoes do not last long at all! I have ALL ingredients right now, bar the fresh tomoatoes :'(

  21. Sarah says:

    I love this recipe, it is my standard go-to especially since it only uses a quite small quantity of meat. This probably should be updated to be the same as the book though where it is cooked on varoma instead of 100, much better result I think with the sauce reduced a little. Thanks Jo!

  22. Byron says:

    Can you substitute Rapadura for coconut sugar? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • QuirkyJo says:

      yep πŸ™‚

    • Noni says:

      This recipe is great, I make it for the kids with a few changes – I leave out the wine/water, the balsamic vinegar, olives, semi dried tomatoes and tomato paste…when I don’t have thermo stock I use a chicken stock cube. It’s a really delicious, easy dinner. Thank you!

  23. Louise says:

    any chance you know the calories in this recipe?

  24. Michelle says:

    This may seem like a very silly question, but are the tomatoes chopped with the veggies or put in with the meat?
    Thanks!

  25. Michelle says:

    I’ve had my Thermie for 2years and haven’t liked any of the spaghetti BV recipes we have tried! This one however is a huge hit!!! Full of so much goodness and flavour! Even the fussy 3yr old who normally only has plain pasta gobbled it up!! thank you so much Jo!! New firm fav in our house!!

  26. Jenni says:

    you’ve got this tagged as vegetarian…

  27. Alecia says:

    I made the vegetarian version without the meat, and it was still super delicious. Thanks!

  28. Trish says:

    This recipe sounds amazing. However my daughter is on the Fed up diet and is unable to have tomoato paste or vinegar. Is there a substitute for these items that I could use?

  29. Michelle says:

    This was amazing! I ate this alone for a week as it made so much and was extremely yummy. So glad I tried this recipe first as I won’t use any other now! No mush in sight πŸ˜‰

  30. Danielle says:

    Hi Jo, could I use 500g of mince by chance? I have 500g but don’t know what to do with the extra 100. Thank you Danielle x

  31. Kell McKenzie says:

    Made this tonight, the best recipe to date, and I’ve tried a few. So yummy! I did add the carrot and the celery with the onion and garlic and sauteed together. I also put the mince in the simmer basket instead of in the bowl while the sauce cooked. Mixed the mince through on speed 2 reverse for 20 seconds after cooking finished.

  32. deb says:

    we leave meat out and cook the mince in fry pan and add after but it is a dinner winner in our house! Dd2 and DD7 eat loads of hidden veg! πŸ™‚ happy mummy.

  33. Jasha says:

    I love this recipe, I’ve made it so many times over the years, it’s a staple in our house!
    I’ve even made it as a meal to take along to mums who’ve just had a new baby, as it’s guaranteed to please their older kids.
    I often make 1.5 times the recipe, prepping in the TMX but cooking in the slow cooker, it works a treat πŸ™‚
    I often add some bone broth, sometimes a few red lentils and less meat, and I may sneak in a few more veggies (chokos are great!). My cooking style Is a little haphazard and I don’t always stick to the measurements…. this dish always works out deliciously anyhow.
    Thanks so much Jo!

  34. Bryan says:

    Have tried many pasta sauces int he β„’, but all are veryr watery, even if you leave out the wine . Found that cooking the sauce at varoma instead of 100 and extending the time by a few minutes works great. Added some cornflower in that last few mints ad it was perfect.

  35. Joanne says:

    I put broccoli stalks in it and no cabbage. Accidentally put a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar in instead of a teaspoon. Still tastes awesome! Thanks Quirky Cooking!

  36. Krystal says:

    I am currently making this and have just had to tip it into the fry pan because it wasn’t moving in the thermomix? So want cooking evenly?
    What an I doing wrong?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Krystal! πŸ™‚ You can give it a good stir with the Thermomix spatula when you first add all of the ingredients. Otherwise, the sauce starts to ‘move’ or cook more evenly once it hits a boil and bubbles. xx

  37. Kim says:

    Hi Jo,
    If I have run out of stock concentrate and have no time to make more for this recipe, what should I use instead?

    Many thanks

    Kim

  38. Paula Gilbard says:

    I substituted Funky Fields mince to make this vegan, 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes & used caramelised balsamic vinegar (& dropped the sugar).
    Cooked on veroma – perfect!

  39. Belinda Leon says:

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this. It’s my go-to dish. I always love it, every time.

  40. Rebecca Wood says:

    Yum! I made a vegetarian batch with some extra vege (sweet potato and cauliflower) and it turned out great. Not watery at all! Im new to Thermo-mixing and to your website, but am loving the recipes Ive tried so far, and have just bought your two cook books!! Thank you.

  41. Tania Peto says:

    Well came across this recipe yesterday and made the sauce up and made spag bowl tonight oh my it was great and my hubby loved it and for him to say that means a lot as he is not a big pasta fan. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

  42. Jess says:

    I just made this and found it overpoweringly sweet, and I’m a regular sweet tooth! Followed all ingredients correctly – did i go wrong somewhere or is it supposed to be sweet?

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