I have said it once and I will say it again – growing up I was the ultimate spag bol kid. Totally addicted to spaghetti bolognaise (and lasagna) and would order it every time we went out for dinner otherwise I am pretty sure there was tears.
I have MASTERED a really, really good Bolognese recipe and will let you in on my secrets. Firstly – it is going to be on the stove for a while!! Just like my pesto pasta recipe >> HERE this is a great week night meal that allows for plenty of left overs which are easy to freeze and it is tasty, filling and cheap!
The preparation itself doesn’t take too long and it is loaded with hidden veggies which are great for the kids. The key to this recipe is in the fresh herbs and spices – Little bit of sweetness, saltiness and spice.
To get a rich, thick sauce it is vital to let it simmer for 3 hours until most of the liquid and juices are evaporated. Slow cooking and thickening also enhances all of the flavours so make sure you leave yourself enough time for this to simmer away on the stove for up to 3 hours. It is going to make the house smell amazing.
BOLOGNESE RAGU SAUCE
4TBS olive oil
1 kg grass fed free range mince – can be a combination of 1/3 pork 2/3 beef. But use the normal meat to fat ratio. No need for extra lean mince.
2 large brown onions diced
4 garlic cloves diced
4 rashers of free range bacon diced
1 tsp cumin ground
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp cinnamon ground
1 tsp star anise ground
1 tsp nutmeg ground
1 tsp sea salt
3 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika ground
1 cup red wine
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1TBS sugar substitute – raw honey, stevia or coconut sugar
fresh handful oregano, parsley and/or thyme diced
800gms of Tomato Pasta Sauce >> Homemade recipe HERE (can use 2 400gms tins of crushed tomatoes or large jar of passata)
3 TBS tomato paste
2 grated carrots
1 grated zucchini
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
In a large pot/saucepan heat HALF the oil with the spices. Add the bacon, onion, garlic and vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add the other 2TBS of oil to the pan along with the mince. Break it up so it isn’t in clumps and sautee for 5-8 mins until it is no longer pink. Add the sautéed vegetables back to the pot.
Pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, Worcestershire and honey. Bring to the boil. When boiled drop to a low heat and simmer WITH THE LID ON for up to 2 hours. Remove the lid and cook for another 1 hour or until thick and ready to serve. Stir occasionally.
Serve with whole meal/spelt/GF spaghetti or make some zucchini noodles*. Top with some parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs.
2-3 large zucchinis peeled with a julienne peeler or a spiriliser machine. In a hot fry pan with 2 Tbs coconut oil, toss the zucchini with some squeezed lemon juice and fresh sea salt. Don’t over cook or you will end up with soggy noodles. Ain’t nothing ‘al dente’ about sog.
This sauce is also great for homemade lasagnas, shepherds pies and eggplant stacks. Recipes to come!!