Spicy Paprika Bolognese Sauce – Inspired by Hungarian Goulash

One everyday dish that is missing from my blog is a spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Despite the dish is no stranger to my dinner table, I often feel it is not special enough to share with you all.

So what’s changed, you wonder?

Bolognese is still a Bolognese, you know, the usual suspects of mince meat, tomatoes and herbs. I couldn’t think of a significant change that would make it better than it already is. Thick and well infused meat sauce tossed with spaghetti, a generous helping of grated cheese and chopped parsley is predictable but exciting at the same time.  Exciting because I know it is going to be a one belly-rubbing and satisfying meal. Oh yes, comfort food does that to you!

With that being said, the last time I made Bolognese, I wanted a change. A minor change of substituting Italian herbs with sweet paprika. Think Hungarian Goulash. Hungarian Goulash is the extent I know about Hungarian food. I enjoy cuisines that made up with an array of spices and substance.  I appreciate the complexity of balancing different spices in a dish without overpowering one another. That requires skills and experience or simply a good recipe from the internet or a Hungarian friend. 😉

If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by restaurants that offer a Hungarian dining experience, don’t forget to check out the coupons from Groupon Australia for deals and discounts! Don’t we all love a bit of bargain?

Spicy Paprika Bolognese Sauce (Inspired by Hungarian Goulash)

Serves 4

What you’ll need for the sauce:-

  • Olive oil – about 3 tbsps
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, roughly diced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 tbsps sweet ground paprika
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 500g/ 18 ounces  mince beef
  • 2 x 400g/ 14 ounces canned tomatoes (I used whole & peeled tomatoes)
  • Freshly grind black pepper
  • Sugar to taste
  • 30 minutes of simmering time

Pasta – 500g/ 18 ounces of uncooked spaghetti, hot boiling water and salt (add 300g/11 ounces pasta to be super saucy)

Garnish – Flat leaf parsley, finely sliced and grated parmesan


In a large pan, heat 2 tbsps of olive oil over medium flame. Then add garlic and onion with a pinch of salt and saute until the onions almost become translucent. Add paprika, caraway seeds and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Saute over low flame until the oil becomes red and aromatic (from the scent of paprika). Brown beef over medium flame and then add canned tomatoes and some freshly ground black pepper. When the mixture begins to bubble, turn the flame to the lowest possible and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. In the last 15 minutes of the cooking time, season the sauce with salt and sugar to taste. Add more black pepper if you wish.  After that, you can start boiling the spaghetti in salted water according to the packet instructions and drained. Toss the spaghetti in bolognese sauce and serve with parsley and grated parmesan.

This post is brought to you by Groupon Australia.

Meat Recipes, Red Meat. permalink.

6 thoughts on “Spicy Paprika Bolognese Sauce – Inspired by Hungarian Goulash

  1. Being half Hungarian I’m never too far from a jar of Paprika…I have one at home & one at work. And I ALWAYS add it to my spag bol…love it.

  2. I just discovered your site and can’t wait to get started making the Spicy Paprika Bolognese Sauce. I did a computer search on Hot Hungarian Paprika and it brought up your website. I have been cooking all my life, I am 70 years old, and was brought up thinking that the only thing we used Paprika on was on top of deviled eggs for garnish. So, this will be a totally new cooking experience for me. Do you have any special tips for a novice?

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