13/11/14 18:46 Filed in: Italian - Main
I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia and China last week for a family wedding - hence the lack of updates. Unfortunately, I do not have much vacation available at work, so in total I was in Oz for 6 nights!
Being very jet lagged last night, all I craved for was a hearty and comforting meal. Spaghetti Bolognese hit the spot!
I am one of those people who never knows what they wish to eat, regardless of jet lag, until that evening! It drives my wife crazy!!!
A quick zombie style trip to the butchers and deli to restock the fridge and I was set to go.
I unfortunately had run out of tomato puree, so substituted with ketchup at the end of the cooking. It worked well, intensifying flavour, but my preference would always be with the concentrate.
I have become extremely fond of Faella pasta - it has a much better flavour than the supermarket equivalent. Most certainly worth the extra 50 pence.
Everybody has their own version and preferences for there Bolognese. My preference would be without mushrooms, but I must go with the mood of the house! I find the sauté vegetables add flavour and the Pancetta adds a cheeky saltiness.
Bolognese always tastes better the next day, so in order to try to get that depth of flavour, I simmer on a very low heat for a much longer period of time.
Mandatory opera house shots
for the Bolognese sauce [serves 4] :
500 g beef mince
5 tbsp olive oil
1 sticks celery
4 garlic cloves
3 - 4 large mushrooms
2 strips of pancetta, cut into lardons
250 ml red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste (or 1 tbsp Tomato ketchup, added at the end)
1 small bay leaves
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
600 ml of good beef stock
100 ml water
200 ml passata (optional)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
handful rosemary roughly chopped
handful thyme roughly chopped
handful oregano roughly chopped
handful flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
handful basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
chopped basil and freshly grated Parmesan to garnish
for the Bolognese sauce :
1) Finely dice the leek, carrot and celery and one onion. Set aside.
2) Finely chop the garlic and set aside.
3) Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.
4) Add the leek, carrot and celery mix and cook for 10 minutes on a medium low heat; stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables have taken on a glistening sheen. Add in the garlic and cook for a further four to five minutes. Meanwhile finely slice the mushrooms.
5) Remove the cooked vegetables, and set aside.
6) Raise the heat to high, and heat a tablespoon of oil in the frying pan. When hot add the Pancetta lardons and cook till golden. Set aside with the sauté vegetables.
7) Add a further tablespoon of oil in the frying pan, if dry, and cook the mince off in batches. Avoid adding oil, and stirring - just let the meat brown off.
8) Deglaze the pan with 100ml of red wine, and reduce till almost dry.
9) Return the vegetables and Pancetta to the pan and add a tablespoon of tomato puree. (I have run out so skipped this step. instead I added a tablespoon of Tomato ketchup at the end!).
10) Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the herbs, except for the parsley and basil.
11) Add the chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, passata (if using), beef stock, remaining wine, bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
12) Simmer on a low heat if possible, until the Bolognese has a thick consistency - 1 - 2 hours.
13) Add the tomato ketchup (if using like me), chopped basil and parsley. Adjust the seasoning and cook for a further couple of minutes.
When ready to serve :
1) Add 2-3 tablespoons of the starch water that the spaghetti has been cooked in to the frying pan, followed by the cooked spaghetti. Heat through on a medium temperature until hot.
2) Toss the spaghetti through the meat, covering each strand.
2) Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and a chopped basil garnish. Crack over a little black pepper.
Peel the garlic
Finely dice the leek
Finely dice the celery
Finely dice the carrot
Finely dice the onion
Sauté the onion, celery, carrot and leek
Add the garlic
Remove and set aside
Finely dice the Pancetta into lardons
Fry the pancetta till golden
Add the lardons to the vegetables
Fry off the beef mince on a high heat
Turn when browned on one side
Dice the fresh herbs
Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping well - I must love spag bol with that heart shape!
Cook till evaporated
Add the chopped tomatoes
Add the Worcestershire sauce
Add the sauté vegetables and lardons
Add the thyme, oregano and rosemary
Add the beef stock
Add the dried marjoram
Add the rest of the wine
Add the mushrooms
Add the bay leaf
Simmer for 1 - 2 hours on the lowest setting on the hob (if you have time!)
Dice the parsley and basil
Add the parsley and basil
Add the tomato ketchup (if using)
Add a dash of olive oil and large pinch of salt to a sauce pan
Delicious good quality pasta
Add the spaghetti and cook per the packet instructions
I reserved half, for another meal!
Add the cooked spaghetti along with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water
Toss the pasta
Garnish with Parmesan and chopped basil