Classic Spaghetti Bolognese - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free
Classic Spaghetti Bolognese - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free - The Friendly Gourmand.jpg

Seattle might not be as cold as it was back in December but it’s not close to what I’d call warm yet and that’s all the excuse I need to cook some comfort food. Add in the fact that Ev and I have been pretty drained from moving house and he’s even caught a cold, which never happens. Sounds like it’s now a necessity.

Not being Italian at all, I make no claims to this being a traditional, Italian style Bolognese sauce (which are typically much more simple than a Western style Bolognese) but this Bolognese sauce is thick, rich and really hits the spot. It’s a long way from how I used to make Bolognese (brown the meat and dump in a jar of pasta sauce) but it’s worth the time. Oh yeah, fair warning, you’ll need 3-4 hours to do this properly. Repeat after me: It. Is. WORTH. It. 

Friendly Notes

  1. This recipe is onion free, as onions are high in FOS but, if you can tolerate onion, then add in up to 1 onion diced finely and brown at the beginning with the other veggies.
  2. Either infuse garlic into your own olive oil or buy it pre-made. If you can tolerate the garlic - i.e. you've successfully tested garlic FOS and aren't currently testing any other FODMAPs - then feel free to mince it and leave it in. 
  3. The amount of tomato paste called for in this recipe is low FODMAP once split into 8 serves.
  4. If you can’t tolerate any wines, a FF chicken or beef stock could replace some or all of the red wine for fluid. Just use what you can cope with, even water would do, though you might need to add in a little extra salt and pepper etc for flavour.
  5. Green leek leaves are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves; this recipe spreads 1 full cup over 8 serves, so is safe.
  6. Celery is low FODMAP in 1/4 medium stalk serves, 1/2 a medium stalk contains moderate amounts of polyols. This recipe contains 1 cup of diced celery, which is approx. 2 stalks, so a 1/8th serving is low enough in celery to be low FODMAP but if you are extra sensitive, feel free to replace it with celeriac (celery root), which has a similar taste to celery and is lower in FODMAPs. For a completely different (yet delicious) taste, you could replace celery with red or green capsicums that have been roasted and peeled.
  7. Carrots are low FODMAP, Monash has listed them as a vegetable that can be eaten freely, as no FODMAPs were detected.
  8. Canned tomatoes are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves; 800 g/28 oz of tinned tomatoes equates to approx. 3 cups of undrained tomatoes, so you could safely consume 1/6th of this recipe in terms of tomatoes (fructose) – however, you must remember that 1/8th of the dish is safe in terms of celery (polyols).
  9. Bay leaves were recently tested for their FODMAP content and one leaf is low FODMAP. The four leaves called for in this recipe equate to half a leaf per serve (remember to remove them!)

Classic Bolognese Sauce

Serves 8 | Time: 3-4 hours (reminder: it is WORTH it!)

Dietary Restrictions

Low FODMAP - Fructose Friendly - Gluten Free - Wheat Free- Egg Free - Soy Free - Nut Free


  • 1/4 cup olive oil to seal pot
  • 3 cloves of garlic – to infuse oil
  • 1 cup green leek tips
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup fructose friendly stock – chicken, beef or vegetable.
  • 500 g/1 lb beef mince
  • 500 g/1 lb pork or chicken mince
  • 800 g/28 oz tin of whole peeled tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • Oregano – approx. 1/4 cup fresh or 1/8 cup dried.
  • Thyme – 1/8 cup fresh or 1 tbsp. dried
  • Rosemary – 1/8 cup fresh or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup finely minced chives
  • Pasta of your choice to serve 8 people


In a large sauce pan, heat the oil and drop in the garlic cloves. Let them sizzle for 2-3 minutes – until fragrant – to infuse their flavour into the oil. Pick them out and discard if required, otherwise complete this step with minced garlic cloves and leave them in if tolerated.

Reduce the heat to medium and add in the green leek tips, carrots, celery and bay leaves. Saute for 30 minutes, until the veggies have developed a fond on the bottom of the pan and have acquired a golden-brown tinge. They will reduce in bulk by about 50%. Deglaze with 1 cup red wine and increase heat to evaporate the wine – it should take 2-3 minutes.

Leaving the heat on high, add in the mince meat and brown it, then de-glaze once more with 1 cup of fructose friendly stock, a further 5 minutes but potentially longer.

Meanwhile, puree the tomatoes in a blender and set aside to wait. When the red wine has evaporated, add the pureed tomatoes and ground cloves before seasoning with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes.

Add in the tomato sauce or paste (depending on your tolerance) and bring to the boil before reducing the heat to low; let the sauce continue to simmer for another full hour at least, 90 minutes would be best.

At this point you may add in the chives, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Bring the pot to the boil once more and then reduce the heat back to low and simmer for the last 30 minutes.

Tinker with salt and pepper and serve with the pasta of your choice. I have enjoyed this with spelt, gluten free and even zucchini pasta. Just make sure you fish out any bay leaves before serving.

Spaghetti Bolognese - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free - The Friendly Gourmand
Classic Spaghetti Bolognese - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free - The Friendly Gourmand - long pin.jpg