Spaghetti Bolognese

22 Jan

This is one of those classic dishes that for me is real comfort food, it reminds me of home. It is rich with tomatoes, red peppers and fresh herbs and made with beef mince which is less greasy than lamb. One of our family stories goes that my grandfather made spaghetti Bolognese during WWII, on his last leave, picking the tomatoes and herbs from the garden with my mum when she was just a baby. I often wonder what it would have been like to have known him, I have a feeling I would have liked him.

* olive oil
* 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* Good quality beef mince
* 500g tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped or 1 tin of tomatoes
* 1 tsp dried rubbed or a large stalk of fresh thyme
* 3 bayleaves
* 1 pinch each of cracked black pepper and sea salt
* 1 tbsp red pepper paste
* parsley or basil

In a fairly large size saucepan heat the oil and then gently fry the onion and garlic. When the onion becomes translucent add the beef mince. Stir it well to break up the mince and let it cook until the meat is sealed. Add the tomatoes, pepper paste, herbs and seasoning cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil add 1 tsp salt and a glug of olive oil then add the spaghetti. Stir to make sure none of the pasta sticks together and cook until it is soft but still has some bite. This should be 8-12 minutes depending on the variety of pasta.

Cooks tip – if you don’t have red pepper paste you can easily make it by making a paste of preserved or roasted red peppers.

This recipe was originally posted on on 22/1/2007.


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