The ultimate cheap eat, an amazing comfort food, and a standard dish in every person’s gastro repertoire, Spaghetti Bolognese is made in a variety of ways depending on your own taste. It is so commonly eaten in Ireland that I have heard some people refer to it as Spag-Bol. Yuk! What a horrible name: Peter’s sister uses this term and it tears me up inside.
I’ve been making it for years, my ma made it for me, but that’s where the tradition ends. In my granny’s time people still thought bananas were exotic so back then Irish people probably couldn’t have located S.B.’s spiritual home, Italy, on the map but for the fact that Rome is where Irish priests go to learn how to put their sauce all over other people’s meatballs. Mamma Mia!
Some people I know put in bacon, red wine, bay leaves, Italian sausage, cream, butter, etc. Many moons ago I worked in an Italian restaurant in Spain who made all Bolognese with a finely chopped celery, carrot and onion base.
I think I make a pretty good Bolognese sauce without any fancy extras. I keep it very simple focusing almost exclusively on the humble pomodoro:
Serves one – single people are doing it for themselves!
- ½ lb mince meat
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 6 fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 of a tube of tomato puree
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 6 fresh basil leaves chopped
- Loads of cracked black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Spaghetti pasta (don’t make my own I’m afraid, too much hassle)
Saute your onion and garlic for five minutes in a large pot. Then add your mince. And cook on a low heat until the mince is brown (5-8 mins). Throw in some black pepper and basil, making sure to keep some for later. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
Then add your various tomato products and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
About 8 minutes from the end add the rest of the basil and throw on your pasta in a separate pot of boiling water. Add salt and olive oil the boiling water to season the pasta and stop it from sticking. If, like me, you like it al dentist it should be ready in about 7 minutes.
Serve with black pepper and a ridiculous amount of grated parmesan cheese.
So, am I doing it all wrong? Have you got a better recipe?