Rich Red Wine Bolognese

Bolognese taken to the next level with wine and bacon.

Bolognese is a staple of so many households. If you want to give your bolognese just a bit more oomph, then this is the recipe to do it. It’s a winter warmer and it will be loved by everyone. I added the base of osso bucco, which is diced carrots, celery and onion. And then a large slosh of red wine (save some for the cook), and some diced smoky bacon. Then let it simmer on low for an hour. The kitchen smelt amazing! And the depth of flavour was very comforting on a cold winter’s evening.

So, think outside the square for how you serve it. Fill a baked sweet potato to keep the whole meal low GI and lower carb. Or just put some in a bowl and top it with your favourite grated cheese. You can have it with traditional al dente fettuccine, or for a low Gluten option, go for zucchini noodles.

If you have any leftovers, then put them in an oven proof dish, top with a couple of eggs and bake them for a hearty breakfast!

You want an even more luxurious version? One day someone gave me some venison mince. So I made this recipe with it and it was superb! Rich, full of flavour. And venison is very lean, so my husband was very happy that he could have it on his diet and feel very spoilt at the same time! For something slightly more accessible, try making it with wallaby or kangaroo mince. Just as lean and has a great flavour and texture.

And for the ultimate lasagne, layer it with lasagne sheets, grated cheese and bake it for 40 minutes. Don’t forget to pour some wonderful double cream over the final layer to stop it drying out. No need for the traditional bechamel sauce. Way too much work!


Rich Red Wine Bolognese

Lydia Nuttall
Wonderful rich winter bolognese, perfect with noodles, or to fill a jacket potato
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course main
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 serves


  • Bolognese can be cooked on the stove top or in a casserole dish in the oven. Either way don't rush this one as the flavours will only improve the longer you let it slow cook!
  • Ingredients - serves 6
  • 1 kg of beef mince
  • 1 large carrot - finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk - finely diced
  • 1 medium brown onion - finely diced
  • 2 rashers of bacon- finely diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 800 g tin of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon gravy powder approx


  • Steps to Success:*if you are going to have bolognese in jacket sweet potatoes, sort them into the oven now!
  • In a large, heavy based saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the carrot, celery, onion, bacon and oregano. Stir for about 3 minutes until just softened.
  • Add the mince and 1/4 cup of water. Stir for another 5 minutes until mince is browned.
  • Add all the other ingredients and stir on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn down heat, pop the lid on and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Come back, lift lid, breathe deeply, enjoy and stir again. Leave lid off and cook slowly for another 30 minutes.
  • Add gravy powder, stir gently. Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off and work out what you will have with it. (by now, crusty bread is looking good)
Keyword bacon, bolognese, pasta, wine
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