Spaghetti Bolognese

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.

Spaghetti Bolognese : mandatory opera house shots

Mandatory opera house shots

Spaghetti Bolognese : Last One“></a></span><span style=


for the Bolognese sauce [serves 4] :
500 g beef mince
5 tbsp olive oil
1 leek
1 onion
1 carrot
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

Spaghetti Bolognese : Finely dice the Leek

Finely dice the leek

Spaghetti Bolognese : Finely dice the celery

Finely dice the celery

Spaghetti Bolognese : Finely dice the carrot

Finely dice the carrot

Spaghetti Bolognese : Finely dice the onion

Finely dice the onion

Spaghetti Bolognese : Gently saute

Sauté the onion, celery, carrot and leek

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the garlic

Add the garlic

Spaghetti Bolognese : Remove and set aside

Remove and set aside

Spaghetti Bolognese : Finely dice the pancetta

Finely dice the Pancetta into lardons

Spaghetti Bolognese : Fry the pancetta till golden

Fry the pancetta till golden

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add to the saute vegetables

Add the lardons to the vegetables

Spaghetti Bolognese : Fry off the beef mince

Fry off the beef mince on a high heat

Spaghetti Bolognese : Turn when browned on one side

Turn when browned on one side

Spaghetti Bolognese : Dice the fresh herbs

Dice the fresh herbs

Spaghetti Bolognese : Mince browned

Mince browned

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the wine and deglaze the pan

Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping well - I must love spag bol with that heart shape!

Spaghetti Bolognese : Cook till evaporated

Cook till evaporated

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the chopped tomatoes

Add the chopped tomatoes

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the Worcestershire sauce

Add the Worcestershire sauce

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the sauté vegetables and pancetta

Add the sauté vegetables and lardons

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the thyme, oregano and rosemary

Add the thyme, oregano and rosemary

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the beef stock

Add the beef stock

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the dried marjoram

Add the dried marjoram

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the rest of the wine

Add the rest of the wine

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the mushrooms

Add the mushrooms

Spaghetti Bolognese : Stir well

Stir well

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the bay leaf

Add the bay leaf

Spaghetti Bolognese : Simmer for 1 - 2 hours on a low seat

Simmer for 1 - 2 hours on the lowest setting on the hob (if you have time!)

Spaghetti Bolognese : Reduced

Finally reduced

Spaghetti Bolognese : Dice the parsley and basil

Dice the parsley and basil

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the parsley and basil

Add the parsley and basil

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the tomato ketchup

Add the tomato ketchup (if using)

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add salt and oil to a saucepan

Add a dash of olive oil and large pinch of salt to a sauce pan

Spaghetti Bolognese : Delicious good quality pasta

Delicious good quality pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the spaghetti

Add the spaghetti and cook per the packet instructions

Spaghetti Bolognese : Half removed for another meal

I reserved half, for another meal!

Spaghetti Bolognese : Add the cooked spaghetti

Add the cooked spaghetti along with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water

Spaghetti Bolognese :  Combine well

Toss the pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese : Garnish with Parmesan and chopped basil

Garnish with Parmesan and chopped basil

Spaghetti Bolognese : Top shot

Top shot

Spaghetti Bolognese : Close Up

Close Up

Spaghetti Bolognese : Close Up


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