Even though I'm in university and no longer live at home, I always look forward to Mum's cooking during the holidays. I try to make her recipes myself, but they never quite taste the same. My Mum is Norwegian, but I also grew up on a lot of Italian and American cuisine. One thing I can distinctly remember is coming home from school and smelling my favorite food: spaghetti bolognese. 

As I grew older, I started to eat less beef, so Mum substituted the beef for chicken, and that's the recipe she's used ever since. In fact, my personal favorite pasta is orichette (shells), and when I'm cooking for myself I always use that - but I think any kind of pasta would work. It's the sauce that really shines. Mum's secret? Let it simmer for a while. It always makes the flavor more complex.

So here's a recipe that brings back nostalgic memories from my childhood, from my family to yours: Mum's spaghetti bolognese.

Mum's Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Medium


  • 3/4 pounds minced chicken
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • Olive oil
Sara Shuhaiber
  • Step 1

    Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat, add in the onion and garlic and stir for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add in minced chicken and brown.

  • Step 2

    Add in the carrot, water, tomato paste, ketchup and spices and bring to a boil.

  • Step 3

    Turn heat to medium low and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is simmering, boil the spaghetti (or your pasta of choice) until al dente. Once the sauce is done, serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

    Sara Shuhaiber

Bolognese sauce can be super versatile as well: I like to use leftovers in casseroles, omelettes and even sandwiches - sort of like a deconstructed meatball sub. Not to mention, it gets better with time and can be frozen for up to 3 months, making it a great recipe for students.

Spaghetti bolognese is the best form of comfort food and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Happy cooking!