Food & Drink

Buddy Oliver’s bolognese recipe

Bolognese is a classic for a reason.

Buddy’s bolognese from Let’s Cook
Buddy's bolognese from Let's Cook Buddy’s bolognese from Let’s Cook

Few recipes are as useful to have in your armoury than a traditional bolognese dish.

This recipe comes from Buddy Oliver’s debut cookbook – following in the footsteps of his famous father Jamie.

The book, Let’s Cook, is full of easy recipes for kids to try, and is accompanied by a new show, TV series Cooking Buddies, produced by Jamie Oliver Productions for the BBC, available on CBBC and BBC iPlayer from July.

Buddy’s bolognese


(Serves 6)

2 pork sausages

Olive oil

500g lean minced beef

2 onions

2 cloves of garlic

1 large carrot

1 celery stick

1 courgette

2tbsp thick balsamic vinegar

2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

1 heaped tsp tomato purée

450g your favourite dried pasta

Parmesan cheese, to serve

Buddy's bolognese from Let's Cook
Buddy’s bolognese from Let’s Cook (David Loftus/PA)


1. Place a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat to warm up.

2. Squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skins.

3. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil into the pan, add the minced beef and sausagemeat, breaking everything up with a spoon as you go, then cook for five minutes, stirring regularly.

4. Peel the onions and garlic, trim the carrot, celery and courgette, then coarsely grate all the vegetables on a box grater, finely grating the garlic. Scrape into the pan, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the balsamic vinegar, then scrunch in the tomatoes (or tip in and break up with a spoon as you go). Half-fill each tin with water, swirl around to pick up the last bits of tomato and pour it into the pan.

6. Stir in the tomato purée and a pinch of black pepper, mash everything up with the spoon, then reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for one hour, or until thickened slightly.

7. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water.

8. Carefully add the pasta to the sauce and stir well over the heat, loosening with a splash of pasta water, if needed. Divide between serving bowls, and finish with a good grating of Parmesan.

Let’s Cook: Fun, Easy Recipes For Kids by Buddy Oliver is published by Penguin Michael Joseph © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited, priced £20. Photography by David Loftus. Available now.