Spaghetti with Mince


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

This is exactly how my sister makes her mince. The pasta will serve five or six people but you should have about half the sauce leftover. I always make my mince sauce in double quantities... leftovers can be frozen in small portions for quick dinners. It’s great on toast with some parmesan sprinkled over the top, dolloped into mashed potato or over gnocchi. And, of course, you can use it for making lasagne. If you are suspicious of your cooking pot (that the meat might burn while you’re browning it) then sauté the meat and onions in a non-stick frying pan and tip everything into the larger pot for cooking.


  • 125 ml(4 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 kg(2 lb 4 oz) minced (ground) beef
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 375 ml(13 fl oz/ cups) white wine
  • 800 g(1 lb 12 oz) tinned diced tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 500 g(1 lb 2 oz) spaghetti
  • grated parmesan, to serve


Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Sauté the onions with a pinch of salt over medium heat, stirring often until they are quite golden, soft and sticky. Add the garlic, cook for a minute and then add the mince. Mix it in with the onions, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, worcestershire sauce, mint and paprika and sauté over high heat for 8–10 minutes until the meat loses its moisture and starts sizzling. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and continue frying for about 10 minutes until the meat changes colour. Stir often, to prevent sticking and to brown all the meat.

Add the wine and cook for about 5 minutes until it has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, let them melt down for a bit and then add 750 ml(26 fl oz/3 cups) of water. Season with salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 50 minutes until it looks like a good, not-too-dry sauce. Add the parsley and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, following the packet instructions. Drain and serve with a good dollop of meat sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan and a small blob of the remaining butter on each serving.