Spaghetti bolognese

10 Jan

spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese is one of those family meals I make so regularly that I no longer follow a recipe. I always start with a soffrito of onion, carrot and celery – sautéed in olive oil with a couple of cloves of  garlic. 

I’m flexible about choosing ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and pork, don’t worry about pancetta or bacon if I don’t have any, and willingly substitute stock for the wine, and passata for the tinned tomatoes. But if I have all the ingredients on hand, this is how I like to make spaghetti bolognese.

Spaghetti bolognese
(serves 4)

  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 50g pancetta, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • a stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 500g beef
  • 1 cup (250ml)  red wine
  • 1x 400g can tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 450-500g dry spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and fry the pancetta.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, carrot and celery and cook until softened.
  3. Increase the heat and add the ground beef, stirring and frying until it has browned.
  4. Pour in the red wine and cook until it has reduced in volume by about a third.
  5. Lower the temperature and stir in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon if necessary.
  6. Cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is rich and thick.
  7. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain and divide between four bowls. Add a ladle of sauce to each portion of pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

6 Responses to “Spaghetti bolognese”

  1. Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    We love bolognese too and make it with Quorn mince instead of meat. Like you I don’t follow a recipe – but I always include about 400g chopped mushrooms.

    • Andrea January 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      I think bolognese is really nice with mushrooms – my dad always makes it that way as well!

  2. Margo January 10, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Sounds yummy and close to my regular version. Will add the wine next time, an always enhancing ingredient to most dishes.

    • Andrea January 10, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

      I agree!

  3. wadehorth1 January 12, 2015 at 3:36 am #

    It’s quite different to the way that we make spaghetti sauce, but sounds fabulous! I’ll have to try it. I was surprised that there wasn’t any oregano or basil.

    • Andrea January 12, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      I think oregano or basil would work nicely in this sauce too.

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