Classic Spaghetti Bolognese – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Spaghetti Bolognese - Gluten Free and Low FODMAP

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.

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 Barilla pasta sauce) and 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.

I found the original recipe years ago and printed it off without any information regarding its source, so if you think this is based on your recipe then please let me know. In any case, it’s definitely been FODMAPified.


  1. This recipe is onion free 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, then feel free to mince it and leave it in. You’ll notice I’ve done this.
  3. Either use tomato paste, which is not low FODMAP but some can tolerate it spread throughout multiple serves, or a fructose friendly tomato sauce (as in ketchup for those in the USA) of your choice. Monash lists a serve (2 sachets) of non-HFCS containing tomato sauce as low FODMAP. If you can tolerate neither tomato paste or tomato sauce, add in 1 tsp. of sugar and 1 tsp. of white wine vinegar, instead.
  4. If you can’t tolerate any wines, a FF chicken or beef stock or tomato juice 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 6-8 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 cups, 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. One whole medium carrot is low in FODMAPs, though if you consume enough mannitol can become an issue. This recipe stays within safe serving limits.
  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).

Classic Bolognese Sauce

Serves 8 FODMAPers.

  • 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
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste or FF tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 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 6 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.

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Leaving the heat on high, add in the mince meat and brown it, then deglaze 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.

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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.

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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. Yum! Just make sure you fish out any bay leaves before serving.



14 thoughts on “Classic Spaghetti Bolognese – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

  1. This is beautiful. I have been craving bolagnaise sauce and thought I’d never find one that tastes good due to not being able to use garlic and onion then I found your recipe. Wow! It takes a while to cook but you were right, totally worth it! It tastes utterly amazing. I followed this recipe and it gave me enough to make a gluten free fructose free lasagne and 4 serves of spaghetti for my lunches this week. Thank you so much!

    • Celery is a recent addition to the polyol family of FODMAPs, thanks for reminding me to update this recipe! Monash Uni lists half a medium stalk of celery as containing moderate amounts of polyols and one quarter of a medium stalk as low FODMAP. As with everything on the low FODMAP diet, if you can eat it without issue, continue to do so to your tolerance level, as celery is otherwise healthy!

    • I’m glad you think so. If you can eat onions and garlic, simply re-enter them where I have made the low FODMAP substitutions and cook away. Sorry for not replying for ages, I just found your comment. 🙂

    • Hi Robbie, thanks for commenting. 🙂

      I do mean wheat free pasta but gluten free pasta is of course wheat free, and most people know it under that name, so that’s why I said GF instead.

      I said the “pasta of your choice” in the ingredients list, as not everyone eats the same pasta – some do better with corn or rice pasta, some quinoa and some FODMAPers can even do wheat after elimination, if wheat fructans aren’t an issue for them.

      In terms of me listing spelt pasta – some people can tolerate spelt products, though the safe serve of spelt pasta according to Monash for the elimination phase is only 1/2 cup cooked; 2/3 cups has moderate FOS and 1 cup is high in FOS. Of course, like wheat, spelt also contains gluten, so if you are a coeliac then it is automatically out. The Monash app lists all the tested options if you search for “pasta.” I hope that helps.

  2. This sauce is delicious! This will become a regular for me. At what point do you add the diced zucchini?

    Is there a way to print it without all the pictures?

  3. Hi I made this tonight and the only comment I can make is that the cloves seems to be very strong so I wondered if one teaspoon is too much as that’s all I can taste

  4. Pingback: Classic Spaghetti Bolognese – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free – SPAGBOL

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