One would think a bolognese sauce recipe would be one of the easiest things to come across, but in fact it is one of those things that is so much of a classic that it just had to be messed with. So with all those variant recipes floating around, I believe I have finally found and adapted my personal favorite version of spaghetti bolognese. A proper bolognese sauce usually needs to be stewed for close to an hour. The flavors and ingredients just need that simmering time to develop in taste and consistency. An excellent bolognese sauce bursts wide open outside the realm of pasta. It can be used in a lasagne, spooned over some sturdy bread with a topping of cheese and broiled to make an open faced bolognese cheese sandwich, or accompanied by a side of rice snugly in a bowl, a la Iraqi marga style. I added mushroom here because we all love it so, but feel free to leave out. Also feel free to add in your own touches (peas, cubed carrots or potato, fresh herbs of choice…).
Ingredients: serves 4
For the Bolognese sauce:
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
500g minced beef
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
400g can tomatoes
1 1/2 cups hot stock
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup or purée
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
salt and ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan
Put the onion and oil in a large pan and fry over a fairly high heat for 3-4 mins. Add the garlic and mince and fry until they both brown. Add the mushrooms and herbs, and cook for another couple of mins.
Stir in the tomatoes, stock, tomato ketchup or purée, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 mins. Adjust seasoning at the end of cooking.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water, according to packet instructions. Drain well, run hot water through it, put it back in the pan and add a dash of olive oil, if you like, then stir in or top with the meat sauce. Serve in hot bowls with Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top.