(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
A family’s favourite, enriched with red wine and rosemary for a meal packed full of flavour!
Hello everyone! How was your weekend? We had a great time, as we went to the cinema to watch Beauty and the Beast! Seriously, best movie ever! I loved every bit of it and I already want to watch it again. It was kind of a last minute decision and we had a bit of a hard time trying to book the tickets, as most places were sold out for the afternoon showings. We ended up in a cinema in Dagenham where tickets were basically half price as compared to everywhere else, brilliant! 😀
Anyways, following my last post about my weekly food shopping, I thought I’d start posting some of the recipes on the menu for this week. And today I will share with you this amazing scrumptious Bolognese recipe!
To be honest, I never really saw the point in buying pre-packed Bolognese sauces that are literally chopped tomatoes with a bit of sugar and herbs. You could easily make that yourself for less money and guess what? It tastes so much better!
Let’s talk Bolognese now, no I don’t mean the Italian slang, I mean the amazing delicious sauce!
The traditional Bolognese sauce calls for half pork mince and half beef mince, but to be honest, I prefer to use just beef mince, plus I find it easier, since I only have to buy one 500g pack of mince. But, by all means, if it’s more convenient for you to swap half of the beef mince with pork, feel free to do so! I used the cheap 20% fat mince, therefore I reduced the amount of oil used to 1 Tbsp. If you use lean mince, make sure you add an extra tablespoon or 2 of olive oil. Also, another little change I shouldn’t really be doing is to omit the celery when preparing the base for the sauce. The thing is I really can’t stand celery and it saves me buying a whole bunch of it. You can barely taste the difference without it anyways. Again, if you have some celery around, feel free to add a stick of chopped celery to the sauce when frying the onion and the carrot. Also, I love to add red wine to my Bolognese, it gives it such a rich taste and I totally recommend using it. You can buy cheap bottles of wine for around £3 and they last quite a while, unless you end up drinking it, obviously! 😉 Mmmh, what else? Well I don’t really use many fancy ingredients and that’s why I love this sauce, you’ll be surprised how good it tastes with only some basics cupboard essentials. All you need is extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot, chopped tomatoes, red wine, beef mince and a couple of sprigs of rosemary. That’s it!
The trick for a great Bolognese sauce is to let it cook as long as possible, so if you have a slow cooker this is the best time to take it out! You can also double the recipe and freeze whatever you don’t need for later use.. But if you are in a bit of a hurry or you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t worry, I didn’t use one to make this recipe and I let it cook for about 45 minutes. I think it’s a good compromise! If you have more time, cook it on extra low heat for longer, until the sauce has thickened.
But enough talking, let’s get to it!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 240g spaghetti (use gluten free if required)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (use 2 or 3 Tbsp if using lean mince)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 500g beef mince
- 100ml red wine (or use white if you prefer)
- 2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- a couple of sprigs of rosemary
- Salt, to taste
- Chop the garlic, onion and carrot very thinly.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and then add the chopped garlic, onion and carrot. Let it fry gently on a low heat for a few minutes, until the onion is softened.
- Add the beef mince and make sure you break it up using a wooden spoon. You don’t want big clumps of meat laying around. Cook the beef on a medium heat for a few minutes, until it has browned.
- Add the red wine, stir and cook for a further few minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the sprigs of rosemary, left whole. To avoid the rosemary to break up, tie it with some kitchen string.
- Season with salt.
- Put the lid on the sauce pan and turn the heat down to low, or extra low, if you want to let it cook for longer and enrich the flavour.
- If you are cooking it on low, let it simmer for about 45 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. If you are cooking it on extra low, it could take up to 90 minutes to cook, depending on how low the heat is. The sauce will be ready when it looks thick and not too watery.
- When the sauce is ready, remove the sprigs of rosemary.
- Cook the pasta, by boiling some water in a large sauce pan. Season with salt. When the water boils, throw the pasta in the saucepan and cook according to the cooking times specified on the packet of pasta.
- Drain the pasta, mix with the Bolognese sauce and reserve some of the sauce to add on top. Buon appetito!
How about you my friends? How was your weekend? Have you got a favourite Bolognese recipe? 🙂