Spaghetti Bolognese

The all-time favourite dish and the most searched for recipe on this site. This is not a true bolognese sauce, but a variation that is used anywhere north of Italy. I tend to prepare huge amounts and freeze what I don't eat. I've carefully measured the ingredients and played around with different amounts and found the recipe below to be the best - but please feel free to modify! This will give you a not too salty bolognese with a very slight sharpness to it - my kids eat it as well. If you like your food hot, add more of the chili paste. Also, some people like more garlic in their sauce, so feel free to add more.

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Ingredients for 4

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Bolognese Sauce

for

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Ingredients
4 1/2 cupschopped tomatoes
11 3/4 ozsbeef mince
2 onionsonion (medium size, 160g each)
4 tablespoonstomato concentrate
2 1/2 teaspoonshoney
2 3/4 clovesfresh garlic (medium size, 3g each)
3/4 teaspoonshot chili paste
3/4 teaspoonssalt
3/4 teaspoonspaprika
2 teaspoonsdried oregano
3/4 teaspoonsground black pepper
2 3/4 fl. ozsred wine
2 3/4 fl. ozsolive oil
2 splashesworcester sauce
Salt content: 0.2% (by weight, not counting salt in other ingredients)

Spaghetti

for

Show metric units

Ingredients
1 3/4 lbspaghetti
1 1/4 tablespoonbutter
3/4 teaspoonssalt
2 1/2 quartswater
1 1/4 tablespoonolive oil
Salt content: 0.2% (by weight, not counting salt in other ingredients)
Serve with chopped basil and grated reggiano cheese

Method

Bolognese Sauce

Peel and chop the onions. Pour the olive oil into a sizeable saucepan, heat it and fry the onions until translucent. Add the mince and fry until the mince is brown and crumbly. Now add the wine, worcester sauce, spices, tomatoes, squeezed garlic, chili paste, honey and tomato concentrate. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, or, if you have the time, for 2 hours.

Spaghetti

Bring the water to a boil. Add the olive oil and salt, then the spaghetti.
I normally use a timer to keep track of the cooking time (check the pasta package) - it tends to be between 9 and 12 minutes depending on the variety.
Check at the lower end of the cooking time to see if they are "al dente" - meaning they still have a bit of a bite. Now put out the whole lot into a colander which you have placed in your sink. Turn on the cold water and rinse the spaghetti under the water (whilst they are still in the colander).
Put the saucepan back onto the hob and add the butter. Melt the butter, then put the spaghetti back into the saucepan and heat them up whilst turning them. The pasta will taste great, not stick together and be just right. You can also re-heat it if someone appears late for dinner.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Bolognese Sauce

Recipe PhotoOur ingredients.
Recipe PhotoTake the top and bottom off the onions.
Recipe PhotoPeel them
Recipe PhotoCut them into chunky slices
Recipe PhotoHalve the slices ...
Recipe Photo... and cut them into strips
Recipe PhotoIf your garlic has any green bits inside, take them out - prevents bad breath and indigestion.
Recipe PhotoPut the olive oil into a sizeable saucepan.
Recipe PhotoNow add the chopped onions.
Recipe PhotoThese are the dried spices to be added later.
Recipe PhotoWhen the onions have changed colour, add the mince
Recipe PhotoA nice splash of Worcester Sauce won't hurt.
Recipe PhotoFry the mince and the onions until the mince is nice and crumbly - we want to get rid of most of the excess moisture.
Recipe PhotoNow add the glass of red wine.
Recipe PhotoThese are the dried spices (salt, pepper, paprika, oregano).
Recipe PhotoAdd the tinned chopped tomatoes.
Recipe PhotoPress the garlic cloves into the sauce.
Recipe PhotoAdd the chilli paste ...
Recipe Photo... the honey ...
Recipe Photo... and the tomato concentrate.
Recipe PhotoLet it simmer on low heat for a minimum of 45 minutes - stirring occasionally so it won't burn. This is to reduce the sauce so it will be nice and thick and blend together. I normally simmer the sauce for two hours.
Recipe PhotoAh! You won't want to stop tasting ...

Spaghetti

Recipe PhotoBring the water to a boil, add salt and olive oil. Put the spaghetti into the boiling water. You can bend them around the saucepan once they have been in the boiling water for a couple of seconds. These photos show a single portion of spaghetti.
Recipe PhotoNothing wrong with using a timer - taste the spaghetti after the recommended cooking time is over. They should be "al dente".
Recipe PhotoWhen the spaghetti are to your liking, pour them into a colander and rinse them under cold water - yes, you want the pasta to actually cool down.
Recipe PhotoMelt the butter in your saucepan ...
Recipe Photo... and put the well-drained spaghetti back into the saucepan.
Recipe PhotoNow stir whilst re-heating the pasta in the melted butter until they are hot.
Recipe PhotoPresto - your spaghetti bolognese! This is my favourite dish of all times. Serve with grated Reggiano and some chopped basil.

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