Credits -Image: Photo by piyato. Image ID: 100206828
Spaghetti Bolognese has long been a favourite of mine, and, as it turns out, everybody in our family loves it too, including the boys.
Having a chef background, I can also appreciate that everybody has their own favourite recipe. And after years of tasting, tweaking and experimenting, here is my favourite Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.
Portions x 4
Medium Onion (diced) x 1
Dried Mixed Herbs x Pinch
Garlic Clove (crushed) x 1
Lean Minced Beef x 400g
Tomato Puree x 1tbsp
Chopped Tomatoes x 1 400g (tinned)
Beef Stock Cube x 2
Worcestershire Sauce x 1dsp
Balsamic Vinegar x 2dsp
Dried Spaghetti x 400g
- Select the right sized saucepan to cook your Spaghetti Bolognese in and add a small amount of water. Heat and then add your diced onion, garlic and mixed herbs.Cook for about five minutes, stirring to ensure that they don’t burn.
- Add your minced beef and stir until the meat is completely brown.
- Add your tomato puree, Worchestshire sauce and balsamic vinegar and mix well.
- Dissolve your beef stock cubes in about 400ml of hot water and then add it to your beef.
- Now add your chopped tomatoes, mix in well and bring to the boil. Once this has been achieved, turn the gas hob down and allow your bolognese sauce to simmer.
- Allow to cook for four hours, topping up with water when necessary.
- Twelve minutes from time, cook your spaghetti in hot water and serve immediately. Top with either cheddar cheese and/or flaked parmesan.
I can’t remember the last time I made just enough bolognese for dinner. It’s one of those dishes that you can make in bulk, divi up and stockpile your freezer with. If however, you are making it in advance, it should be good to keep in the fridge for up to three days. After that, you’re on your own.
The great thing about cooking (but not baking) is that there is no right or wrong (well, to a certain extent anyway). It’s all about taste and personal preferences.
This next recipe was the one that inspired us to cook our Bolognese sauce for four hours, as opposed to the twenty-thirty minutes we had done previously. As you can see, it’s totally different to the one above.
200g Lean Mince Beef
200g Minced Pork
Brown the meat, add the Passata and simmer for four hours. Remember to keep topping up with a little water and stir with a spoon every now and then. Season to taste.
Cooking is about a matter of taste, and if you don’t like some of the ingredients, then you might want to change some of them. Try these, instead of…
Dried Mixed Herbs – Use fresh herbs by chopping and mixing together some Thyme, Marjory and oregano.
Lean Minced Beef – You can use any minced beef, but the more fat content the beef has, the more it will sit on the top during cooking.
During the beef crisis in the late 80’s, my parents stopped using beef altogether and started using minced chicken
Beef Stock Cube – Fresh beef stock. There aren’t many people that are likely to have this readily available but if you do, then use it. It will add a lot more flavour.
Worcestershire Sauce / Balsamic Vinegar – Pre the two boys, we used to add a little red wine but if you’re going to do that, remember what Keith Floyd used to say –
If it’s not good enough to drink out of a glass, then don’t put it in your cooking.
Dried Spaghetti – Bolognese sauce can be served with any other pasta. Don’t just limit yourself to spaghetti.
If you want to do something different with your pasta, try drizzling some Basil Olive Oil with it, then give it a stir, just before adding your bolognese sauce.
Once you’ve made your Bolognese sauce, it can be made for different dishes such as
- Pasta Bake
Or, if you’re looking for a light lunch alternative, I have been known to have it on toast, finished under the grill with melted cheese on top. Actually, it’s quite nice.
What Can You Serve Spaghetti Bolognese with?
Wine -According to Fiona Becket over at matchingfoodandwine.com, with so many arguments on who provides the best bolognese sauce recipe, the argument continues when it comes to wine too.
So, you can either try…
- A medium-bodied Italian red such as Chianti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or a Sicilian red.
- An Italian grape variety such as Barbera or Sangiovese.
- An inexpensive Languedoc or Roussillon red.
- Zinfandel is always good with tomato-based pasta sauces.
And if you don’t like any of those suggestions, it’s always good to stick with what you know or more importantly, what you enjoy.
Bread – We are all bread lovers in our family and so it’s fairly common for us to have bread with our Spaghetti Bolognese. Here are a few suggestions…
- Sliced buttered baguette
- Cheese and tomato stone baked bread
- Garlic or cheesy garlic bread
If you want to try something different, why not make some Basil and Sundried Tomato slices? It really is quite simple…
Method – Slice up a baguette and toast it on both sides. In a bowl, add about 2tbsp of butter, a handful of grated cheese (Mozzarella is best), a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese, about three sliced sundried tomatoes and about 6-8 shredded Basil leaves. Mix it all up and spread it on the toasted baguette then grill.
What’s Your Favourite Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe?
If you have a favourite recipe, why not share it with us? Either contact me or leave a comment and I will then provide a link back to your recipe as I have shared with #foodpornthursdays over at moderndadpages.com