My Spaghetti Bolognese
This is probably every kid’s favourite meal and it’s no different for my son Jonti – he just loooves it. It does take a long time to cook but I think that is the secret to its success: the longer you cook it, the better it will taste. I usually make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for an easy weeknight meal.
- 90 ml (3 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
- 250 g (9 oz) minced (ground) beef
- 250 g (9 oz) minced (ground) pork
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine
- 100 g (3½ oz) speck bacon or pancetta, finely diced
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
- 400 ml (14 fl oz) beef stock
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) milk
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 400 g (14 oz) spaghetti or other pasta
- grilled bread (optional)
- Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef and pork and stir with a wooden spatula, pressing down on the meat to break up any lumps. Keep stirring until the meat is nicely caramelised, about 3 – 5 minutes, then pour in the white wine. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated.
- Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in the remaining oil. When hot, add the speck or pancetta and fry for 1–2 minutes, then add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the spec and vegetable mixture to the meat and pour in the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and cook for another hour, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by one-third.
- Stir in the milk, then taste and season if necessary. Simmer for a further 10 – 15 minutes (or longer if you have time, as it will only get tastier with long, slow cooking).
- Cook the pasta, following the packet directions, until al dente. Drain and serve with a generous helping of bolognese sauce and some grilled bread, if you like.
As seen in my fourth book More Please! — recipe by Manu Feildel, photography by Rob Palmer, published by Murdoch Books Australia.