Spaghetti bolognese pasta bake

Katie Bryson's spaghetti bolognese is baked with spinach and cheese and a golden breadcrumb topping
By Katie Bryson
Spaghetti bolognese pasta bake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the spaghetti bolognese

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500 g lean minced beef
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 200 g spaghetti, broken in half

For the cheese sauce

  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • 150 g cheddar, grated
  • 200 g spinach, washed and chopped

For the topping

  • 2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Tips and Suggestions

Make it vegetarian by swapping the bacon and minced beef for soya mince, and the beef stock for vegetable stock


1. For the bolognese: heat the olive oil in a large pan and then soften the chopped onion and grated carrot for around 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Transfer into a bowl while you add the mince and bacon to the pan.

2. Fry the mince and bacon for 5-10 minutes until cooked through then stir the onion mixture back in along with the rest of the ingredients apart from the pasta. Pop a lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions, drain and then add to the bolognese. Pour this into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish.

4. For the cheese sauce: melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then add the flour to form a paste. Allow to cook for one minute then gradually add the milk whisking to smooth out any lumps.

5. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens, remove from the heat and add a pinch of nutmeg and the grated cheese and stir until combined. Then finally add the chopped spinach and stir to wilt into the hot sauce. Pour the sauce in an even layer over the top of the bolognese.

6. For the topping: mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and olive oil and then scatter over the top.

7. At this stage you can either pop the bake into the fridge to cook later, or pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with plenty of green salad on the side.

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