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Local recipe: gourmet Spaghetti Bolognese

There's Spaghetti Bolognese and then there's Tristan Welch, from The University Arms's Spaghetti Bolognese. We share the recipe to take this classic dish up a notch...

Everyone can make Spag Bol right? But is your bog-standard mid week dish restaurant standard? Probably not! While the beautiful Parker’s Tavern at Cambridge’s stately University Arms hotel is closed, we got Chef Director Tristan Welch to spill the beans on how he makes his Spaghetti Bolognese such a hit. So, if you’re missing restaurant quality dishes, add this pimped-up pasta dish to your repertoire during lockdown. Then, as soon as restaurants reopen, hotfoot it down Regent Street to see if yours is a patch on the professionals.

Parker's Tavern
Parker’s Tavern Restaurant, Cambridge

Recipe: British Classic Slow-Cooked Spaghetti Bolognese by Chef Tristan Welch from Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge


  • 600g braising steak
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 generous tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stick celery
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 2 litres stock beef
  • 1 tbsp butter
Chef Director at Parker's Tavern Tristan Welch
Chef Director at Parker’s Tavern Tristan Welch


  • Pre heat your oven to 140c.
  • To make the Bolognese sauce heat the butter in a large oven proof sauce pan, season the steak with salt a pepper and brown with the bacon for about 20 minutes. 
  • Finley chop the celery, garlic and onion, add to the pan, and continue to cook until softened.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme, fry gently for minute, add the wine and let bubble a little allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
  • Dilute with stock, cover with grease proof paper and place in the oven for 3 hours checking every 30 minutes or so, add a little more stock if it starts to dry out.   
  • Once cooked allow to rest stir with a wooden spoon to break the tender meat into smaller chunks.
  • To serve cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than it says on the packet reserving some of the cooking water, warm up the bolognese sauce add a little of the pasta cooking water stir in the pasta and boil for a minuet allowing the pasta to soak up the sauce.
  • Serve hot and for an extra British touch, serve it with freshly grated Berkswell cheese, its slightly similar to parmesan which naturally works well too.

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