My Perfect Spag Bol

For as long as I can remember Spaghetti Bolognese has been my favourite meal. My Mum’s Bolognese was the best thing ever growing up and I would always request it for my birthday tea (I still get it on my birthday now). As the years have passed and my tastes and passion for cooking have grown I’ve developed my own perfect recipe for Spag Bol, which I believe even rivals my mother’s! … dont’ tell her I said that…
I know everyone has their own way of making bolognese the way they like it, and I’m sure some of you will be reading this thinking I’m mad and that you’d never do it this way, but this is what works for me and how I love it…
(recipe serves 4)
500g beef mince
1/2 a large onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 stick of celery, sliced
2 small carrots, diced
6-8 medium sized closed cup mushrooms, sliced
2tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp dried oregano
1 beef stock cube
1 large glass red wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
small handful freshly chopped basil, finely chopped
salt and pepper to season
olive oil
approx. 600g dried spaghetti
parmesan to serve
1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil ready for the spaghetti later on.
2. Put a tiny splash of oil into a pan on a high heat and add the mince. You only need a small amount of oil hear as plenty of fat will come out of the meat so you don’t want to drown it in too much fat. Season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Break up the mince as it cooks and cook until all the meat is lightly browned.
4. At this point remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the meat juices in the pan. Set the mince aside and cover with foil.
5. Lower the pan to a medium heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook these in the meat juices, no need to add extra oil. Gently fry until onions are golden and the carrots have softened.
6. Add the meat back into the pan, stir in the tomato purée and crumble in the stock cube. Add the red wine and simmer for approximately 3-4 minutes.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and dried oregano, mix together and bring to the boil.
8. As soon as the sauce starts to boil turn the heat right down low, season to taste, place a lid on the pan and leave to simmer while you cook the spaghetti.
9. Add the spaghetti to the saucepan of boiling water you out on earlier and cook as per packet instructions. Taste the pasta to see if it’s cooked, it should be just al dente which means the pasta is soft but with a slight bite to it.
10. Drain the spaghetti when cooked and by this time your sauce will be ready. Remove the lid and stir in the fresh chopped basil.

11. Dish up and serve topped with plenty of freshly grated parmesan. It’s also nice to have some garlic bread on the side.

Tip: If I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I also like to add some bacon or pancetta lardons, I would add these to the pan and fry with the vegetables.
I hope this method works for you and you enjoy it as much as my friends, family and I do!

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