This recipe is part of my Around the World in 28 Days series.
This is one of the best recipes in the world. It couldn’t be simpler, is nice and cheap and is CRAZY delicious. The UK loves a good bolognese, but the sad thing is, people get it wrong. Often it’s drowned out with tomatoes and used in great excess on pasta. Really, bolognese ragu should be used sparingly on a nice thick pasta, with lots of starchy pasta water to allow it to just catch the strands and let the flavours transmit. We’re very lucky to get such good quality meat, so we want this flavour to be the main vibe of the dish. This recipe can take about 2 hours, but the longer you leave it, the better it will be. It’s best to make at the weekend, batch it up into bags and freeze it for a rainy day. Whenever you cook it, cook it with love, and it will love you back!Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stick of Celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- 500g Beef Mince
- 2 tablespoons of Tomato Puree
- 1 Beef Stock Cube
- 1 Bunch of Basil, finely chopped
- 125g Fettucine per person (or your favourite pasta)
- Parmesan, to serve
- Get a frying pan on a medium heat with the olive oil. Fry the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bacon for 7 minutes until it is just beginning to soften.
- Add the beef mince to the pan and fry for a further 10 minutes. The water in the mince should be released fairly quickly, and go back into frying territory. You should hear it begin to sizzle after a few minutes.
- Stir through the tomato puree, stock cube and basil. Season with pepper and fill the pan with boiling water until you have a nice consistency ragu. It should be slightly watery, because it will reduce during the cooking time. When you’re happy, cover the pan, turn the heat to the lowest and cook for at least 90 minutes – but as long as you’ve got. Just check on it every so often, give it a loving stir and top up with a little water if necessary.
- When you’re ready (or too hungry to wait any longer), boil the pasta in salted water according to packet instructions. In a separate bowl, add about 4 tablespoons of the ragu per portion. Use tongs (or a slotted spoon) to drag the pasta into the ragu, bringing with it some of the water. Toss the sauce through and add a little grating of parmesan for extra comfort. Serve with a little more parmesan!
Here’s an idea…
I’ve got too many ideas for this section today!
- Firstly, vegetarians can cut out the bacon and replace the meat with lentils. You can also trade up just half the beef mince for lentils if you’re on a tight budget.
- On a similar note, buy the best quality meat you can afford – it will make a HUGE difference. You’re better off to use half the amount of good quality meat and bulk out with lentils. Someone who eats better quality meat less often is fantastic.
- You can also layer this ragu with pasta sheets and a creamy white sauce for an epic lasagne recipe – or just use sheets of vegetables like courgettes and carrots!