Monday, 9 August 2010

Good old spaghetti bolognese

A staple, loved by most - if not all. I know that if everything else fails it is one of three meals that sons no 1 & 2 will eat. What is there not to like ? It may not exactly be authentic but it is oh so yummy.

There seems to be some discrepancy over where it came from. As the name "ragu alla Bolognese" suggests, it comes from Bologna in northern Italy and "ragu" is the name for a thick meat sauce. The traditional version contains very little tomato, milk and white wine rather than red, seemingly opposite to the versions seen in the UK !

Onto my version and I'm sure it would be thrown out by any traditionalists but I really don't care. Tonight I realised that I didn't have any spaghetti or linguini so it was served with fusilli.

serves 4

1tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic crushed
2 carrots finely chopped
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
150g mushrooms chopped
2tsp dried oregano
75g pancetta cubes
500g lean minced beef
2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
Beef stock (approx 1 can's worth)
1 large glass red wine
tomato puree
pinch sugar
2 bay leaves
handful fresh basil shredded

Heat olive oil and add onions, garlic, carrot and celery (soffrito)
Sweat over low heat for approx 10 mins, add the oregano and cook for a couple of minutes
Turn the heat up and add the mushrooms, cook for a few minutes and then the pancetta
Brown the pancetta and then add the mince and brown
Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the basil, bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for at least an hour
Add the basil before serving and remove the bay leaves
Serve mixed through pasta with parmesan scattered over the top

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