Spaghetti Bolognese

There are so many recipes for this classic Italian sauce, each chef adding this or that to make it their own. My recipe is simple, economical , has few ingredients but most of all has a rich deep flavour achieved by low slow cooking. Traditionally served with tagliatelle, this Bolognese will be served with linguine pasta which is midway between spaghetti and tagliatelle. A grating of fresh parmesan makes this plate of food perfect for any occasion. The amounts here will serve eight to ten people depending on portion size. I make double this amount often then freeze it in portions so that we have a quick meal to come home to when I have been out for the day, gardening, shopping, writing, working or just too lazy to cook. HOW TO VIDEO :


I always used to dry fry mince and meat for stews etc prior to casseroling as I believed it sealed in the flavour. I no longer do this – I find it a complete waste of time.  The flavours are just as good if the meat is dropped straight into the casserole – saves on time, energy and of course no smells in the kitchen.

Place the casserole on a medium heat and add the oil followed by the finely chopped onion. Give a good stir then drop the heat to its lowest, put the lid on and leave the onions to sweat for ten minutes until they become soft and translucent.  Take off the lid then add the  chopped bacon, turn up the heat slightly and fry, stirring regularly.  Add then the chopped carrot and celery – give another thorough stir then add the minced pork and beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring to combine well.

Simply add the remainder of the ingredients, stir well then bring up to a gentle simmer – cover with a lid and place into a slow cooker for at least six hours or alternatively put into the oven preheated to 180 degrees c and cook for 45 minutes then turn the oven down to 100 degrees and cook for a further 6 hours (or up to 8 hours if you are at work).

If your sauce is too thin simply turn up the oven to 160 degrees, remove the lid and pop back into the oven for half an hour or so and the sauce will reduce.

After the cooking time is up, take from the oven and check the seasoning adjusting as necessary. I actually prefer to allow this ragu to go completely cold and reheat the next day.  I think the flavours improve but you will not be disappointed if you eat it straight away.

Cook the linguine according to the pack instructions allowing 100g per person. Cook in well salted water then drain and stir through a little oil before stirring through your rago Bolognese then top with a grating of parmesan.

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