Kinda Spaghetti Bolognaise

As far as I know, no decent Italian cook has any real recollection of what we know as Spaghetti Bolognaise. However, every region in Italy makes its own ragú sauce that very often features leftover stewed meats and game. For a great bolognaise it's worth whizzing up some chopped chuck steak to make your own minced meat. Here's my version.


10 slices of pancetta or bacon • 1 handful of rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped • olive oil • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped »11b best chuck steak, minced or ground beef • 1 wineglass of red wine • 1 level teaspoon dried oregano • 1 14oz can of tomatoes • 1 7oz tube tomato purée or 1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 11b dried spaghetti • 1 handfui of fresh basil • 2 handfuls of grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large hot pan that can go in the oven, fry the pancetta and rosemary in a little olive oil until lightly golden. Then add the onion and garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes, until softened, before adding the ground beef. Stir and continue frying for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the wine. Reduce slightly, then add the oregano, all the tomatoes, and the tomato purée. Season well to taste, bring to the boil, cover with wax paper or a lid, and place in the preheated oven for an hour and a half, Toward the end of the cooking time, put your spaghetti into a large pot of fast-boiling salted water until al dente (check the package for cooking time). When it's cooked, drain it in a colander.

Just before serving, add some ripped-up fresh basil to the sauce. Serve with your spaghetti and some grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar. A green salad is also nice with this.

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