Spaghetti Bolognaise is a classic that never gets old. Whether you’re limited with ideas or just craving a tasty bowl of pasta, this is the perfect go-to meal for any occasion.
History of the Bolognaise sauce
In Italy, Bolognaise sauce is actually known as ragù alla bolognese and originated in the city of Bologna. This sauce is traditionally a slow-cooked meat-based sauce, combining several cooking techniques such as sauteing and braising. The flavour base of the sauce is made with onions, celery, carrot, minced beef, and often pork is added.
The earliest documented recipe for this type of sauce served with pasta was in the late 18th century near Bologna. And although in Italy ragù alla bolognese is not served with spaghetti but rather with flat pasta like tagliatelle, so-called “Spaghetti Bolognaise” has become a popular dish in many other parts of the world.
The secret to the perfect sauce
The secret to getting that perfect texture and consistency of a Bolognaise sauce is to let it simmer for as long as possible. Set out at least two hours for your sauce. The longer it cooks, the more the flavours can infuse with the beef mince. Now you will truly be able to taste flavours like the fresh rosemary and basil coming through. The added pop of chilli enhances all the flavours and blends everything together.
Top of your appetizing pasta with parmesan and some fresh basil, and buon appetito!
- 1 kg beef mince
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 4 medium onions, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped finely
- 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 6 springs fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 4 cans of 400 g plum tomatoes
- A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped finely, and a few leaves set aside for garnishing
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 cup good quality beef stock
- 2 red chili's, deseeded and finely chopped
- 250 ml red wine
- 150 g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
- 800 g spaghetti
- Salt and black pepper
- Place a large saucepan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add finely chopped bacon rashers and stir-fry for 10 mins until golden and crisp.
- Reduce the heat and add the onions, carrots, celery sticks, garlic, and rosemary, and stir-fry for 10 mins and stir continuously.
- Now increase the heat to medium, add 500g beef mince, using a large spoon or fork, stir the meat around for about 5 minutes until the meat is completely browned all over, then add the rest of the ingredients; tomatoes, chopped basil, oregano, bay leaves, stir with a wooden spoon.
- Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid, cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally until you have a rich, thick sauce.
- Add the grated parmesan, season to taste, just before serving.
- It is always a good idea to cook the spaghetti before you want to serve it, cook the spaghetti by following the instructions on the packet.
- Drain the spaghetti, you can stir the spaghetti into the bolognese sauce or serve the sauce on top.
- Season to taste, serve with more grated parmesan grated on top, tomato purée, beef stock, chili, and red wine.