Recipe: Spaghetti Sauce inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s recipe

A few years ago, I watched a television show hosted by Chef Heston Blumenthal called In Search of Perfection. I ended up buying both of the cookbooks and being awed by the recipes in these books. They are so detailed and labour intensive. But the results are amazing. Anyway, one year, as a Christmas gift to each other, a friend and I decided to spend a day together and cook one of the recipes. We made Heston Blumenthal’s Perfect Spaghetti Bolognese. And it took us all day and every single pot I owned.

This past weekend I offered to make dinner for my friends, Megan and Ian (they are letting me stay with them while I work on getting back to Barbados in March). I decided to attempt this spaghetti sauce again, but make it a bit simpler. My version took 1 pot and only 90 minutes.

Slightly Simpler Spaghetti Bolognese – inspired by Heston Blumenthal


  • Olive oil
  • onion, finely diced
  • garlic, crushed
  • white wine
  • Chinese five spice
  • ground meat (I used a mix of beef and pork)
  • stewed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • cream


  • Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add your ground meat and cook until browned. Remove the meat to a bowl and pour off all the grease.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the same saucepan you cooked the meat in. When the oil is hot, add your onions. At this stage, you want to caramelize the onions slightly, so don’t let the pan get too hot or your onions will burn (this step will take about 15 minutes or so).
  • Once your onions have softened and become slightly caramelized, deglaze your pan with some of the white wine. Allow the wine to cook off for a couple of minutes and then add your crushed garlic. Cook for a minute or two. You want the garlic to be fragrant, but not too much colour.
  • Add the ground meat to the onion/garlic/wine mixture, stir to combine, and add some Chinese Five Spice to the pan (I used probably 2 tsps or so). Season with salt and pepper. Allow your meat mixture to cook a few more minutes so the meat has some good colour and is fragrant with the Chinese Five spice seasonings.
  • Pour your stewed tomatoes into the pan, stir, and bring up to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer until the liquid in the pan has reduced. You want this sauce to be rather dry.
  • Just before you serve this sauce, taste it, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Add a 1/4 cup or so of cream, stir to combine and heat through, and then put a generous ladle of the sauce on top of your favourite pasta.
Heston Blumenthal's Spaghetti Bolognese (picture of the picture in the recipe book)

Heston Blumenthal’s Spaghetti Bolognese (picture of the picture in the recipe book)

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