Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spaghetti Bolognese

 The clocks have changed along with the weather so colder, darker nights can only mean one thing - comfort food!

Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic hearty, family meal that I just can't resist. I've added some chorizo to my recipe as I love the depth of flavour it adds, but you can easily miss it out. Also if I'm in need of an extra vegetable fix I sometimes add some diced red and green peppers (add them when you add the mushrooms) which not only tastes great but adds a lovely burst of colour. The basic bolognese sauce is so versatile it's a good idea to double the recipe, just miss out the mushrooms (and peppers if you want to use them). Then you can use it for all sorts of recipes, including lasagne or cottage pie.

2 tbsp olive oil
125g/ (4.5oz approx.) chorizo, finely chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500g Mince/ Ground Beef (the best quality you can get)
150ml red wine
2 x 400g (28oz tin) Tinned tomatoes – crushed, chopped or whole – whatever you prefer
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
250ml beef stock
1 carrot, peeled & grated
Salt & Pepper
170g/6oz (approx.) mushrooms, sliced

To serve:
400g/ 14oz (approx.) spaghetti
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat then add the chorizo and fry for a few minutes until it has turned golden and is starting to crisp on the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon reserving the delicious paprika infused oil then add the chopped onions and celery. Gently sauté for roughly 5-7 minutes so that they have softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so before adding the mince. Break up the mince as you go using either a wooden spoon or fork so that you don’t have any large lumps of mince. Once the mince has browned completely add the wine and cook for a couple of minutes until it has reduced a little, then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, 1 tbsp of the parsley, bay leaves, stock, the grated carrot, salt, pepper and the chorizo. Stir well so that everything is well combined then leave to simmer gently for roughly 30 minutes, so that the mince cooks properly and the sauce reduces and thickens. After 30 minutes add the mushrooms and continue to gently simmer for another 15 minutes with a lid on (unless it is still quite runny and needs to reduce further).*

After you have added the mushrooms bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Taste the bolognese sauce to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary then just before serving remove the bay leaves and add the remaining tablespoon of parsley.

Once the spaghetti is ready, drain and toss in a little extra virgin olive oil. You can either serve it on 4 individual dinner plates or 1 large platter for everyone to help themselves to. Whatever you prefer, pile the spaghetti onto the plate or plates and spoon the sauce on top. Drizzle over a little extra extra virgin olive oil then finish by sprinkling over a good grating of Parmesan cheese and some torn basil leaves. Serve with a salad and if you like, some garlic bread.

*You can also cook the bolognese for much longer over a very low heat, allowing the flavours to intensify, however for a quicker mid-week version cooking this for 45minutes to 1 hour will still result in a delicious bolognese sauce.


  1. Oh I love chorizo but I have never thought to add it to my bolognaise. Thanks for that - I'm going to give that a go.

  2. You should! I love it... it's definitely optional but sooo good! Let me know what you think : )


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...