There are so many spaghetti bolognese recipes out there and I am pretty sure that Italians must be shaking their heads at all the variations the rest of us make.
Over the years I have played around with the recipe adding a bit of this and bit of that. What I have found is that the longer you can cook that sauce on low heat, the more intense the flavour. This is most certainly not a quick bolognese sauce but simmering it for about 50-60 minutes is definitely worth it!
One of my favourite pasta dishes is with an Arabiatta sauce, a rich tomato, onion and chilli sauce. So, I like to add chilli to my bolognese sauce, but you can omit this ingredient if spicy is not your thing.
- 400g x beef mince
- 1 Tbsp x olive oil
- 1 x onion, finely chopped
- 100g x pancetta or smokey bacon, chopped
- 100g x mushrooms, chopped
- 1 x celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 x large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 x medium carrot, grated
- 1 x red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 Tbsp x tomato paste
- 410g x tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup x beef or vegetable stock
- ½ cup x red wine
- 1 tsp x dried oregano
- 1 tsp x sugar
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 500g x spaghetti pasta or tagliatelle
- Fresh basil (optional)
- Freshly grated parmesan
- Start by heating 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based pan that comes with a lid on low- to medium heat.
- Add the bacon and fry until lightly brown.
- Add the onion, celery and mushrooms and fry until golden.
- Remove the mix with a slotted spoon from the pan but leave the bacon fat in the pan. Set aside the mix until needed.
- Add the mince meat and fry until brown. As it browns, continue to break down the meat with a wooden spatula so that it doesn't form clumps.
- Return the onion/mushroom mix to the pan.
- Add the garlic and chilli and cook for about a 1 minute.
- Deglaze your pan with the red wine and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, tin of chopped tomatoes and beef stock.
- Add the oregano, pinch of nutmeg, sugar and black pepper and stir well.
- Cover with the lid and cook on a low temperature for 50-60 minutes.
- Remove the lid, stir and adjust the seasoning. (I purposely add the salt at the end as your stock might have a high salt content)
- Cook your spaghetti as per the instruction on the packet.
- Place your spaghetti in a bowl and top with the bolognaise sauce.
- Grate over fresh parmesan cheese and a scattering of fresh basil leaves.