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Spag Bol

Introduction & method

Don't confuse this with the Italian original, it's completely different! It's one of those dishes that the Brits have "borrowed" from another culture and made their own.

Spag Bol Recipe

For the sauce

Chop the onions and fry them in medium hot oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Chop the bacon into 1cm (.5 inch) squares and add to pan. Fry for a few minutes more and then add the minced beef, pressing it down and breaking it up with a spatula until it is browned all over. Add the beef stock and chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the salt, pepper and basil, and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

You can use the sauce straight away, or leave it for a day - the flavour really improves if you do this.

For the spaghetti

Bring the salted water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and press it into the water making sure it is all fully submerged and that the strands aren't sticking together. Cook for the amount of time it says on the packet, usually 8-9 minutes. Do not overcook! The finished spaghetti should be al dente, ie still have a little firmness or 'bite' to it. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain off the water and melt a knob of butter in the pan. Return the spaghetti  to the pan and stir vigorously until it is all coated in butter.

To serve, place a ring of spaghetti on the plate, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with grated Parmesan to garnish.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Spag Bol on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams minced beef
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 120 grams smoked streaky bacon
 200 grams canned tomatoes
 250 ml beef stock
 2 cloves garlic, crushed
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 300 grams spaghetti
 2 litres water
 1 tsp salt
 25 grams unsalted butter


Vegetable oil for sauteeing. Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese to garnish.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Total time: 30 minutes.