Wednesday, 1 June 2011

the BEST Ever Spaghetti Bolognese

Best Ever Spaghetti Bolognese
There are so many variations of Spaghetti Bolognese but this has to be one of the BEST!  It takes a while to make so pour yourself a glass of red... the wait is most definitely worth it!  It tastes even better the next day so try and cook it in advance!

Serves 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
1 tbsp olive oil
100g pancetta, diced
1kg minced beef
100g fresh chicken livers
25g butter
2 onions, peeled, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
150g mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped
1 tsp thyme or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
150ml milk
300ml red wine
1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
200g tomato puree
300ml vegetable stock
A splash of Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar
Pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
Freshly ground salt & pepper
50g grated parmesan
Spaghetti, cooked per packet instructions
Grated parmesan cheese, to serve


1.  In a large heavy based pan heat the oil, then stir in the pancetta and let it cook for 4-5 minutes without colouring much.  Add the mince in batches until browned and remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2.  Add the chicken livers to the same pan and cook until browned all over.  Remove from the pan a finely chop and set aside.

3.  Add the butter to the pan and fry the onions for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Now add the garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, thyme, oregano and bay leaves and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently.  Now add the cooked mince and chicken livers.

4.  Now pour in the milk gradually stirring continuously.  Mix in the red wine, chopped tomatoes, tomatoes puree, vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar, nutmeg and season with salt & pepper.  Stir all the ingredients and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.  Whilst the sauce is cooking you might as well enjoy the rest of the red wine.

5.  Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions.

6.  Add the parmesan to the sauce and season the Bolognese to taste.  Add half the Bolognese to the spaghetti and mix through, divide the spaghetti among the serving dishes and top with the remaining Bolognese sauce.  Sprinkle over the grated parmesan and serve.

Cooks Tips

v  This recipe is ideal for cooking a day in advance.
v  If you do not like a chunky vegetable Bolognese sauce or would like to disguise vegetables from younger children you can gently blend the sauce to create a smoother texture.


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