Ssssh….don’t tell anyone I told you this but 43 years ago I reeled my brownieboy in with this Spaghetti Bolognaise…..hook, line and sinker….although there was actually no fish involved here, only beef and pork, slow cooked to perfection in a rich unctuous tomato sauce laced with Italian herbs! They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and in this instance it really was true. He must have been starving for a good plate of food because he was popular with the girls at the time! Needless to say this has been, without a doubt, THE most often cooked meal in our home all through the years we have been together. If I don’t make it in a while he starts hankering after it and drops lots of not so subtle hints until I cook it. I always have some of this in the freezer for those times I just don’t have the time to cook. It is a perfect go to on busy late afternoons. Cool weather days are perfect for time in the kitchen and some long slow cooking.
COLLEEN’S LEGENDARY SPAGHETTI BOLOGNAISE
Serves 6 – 8 (freezes well)
3 medium sized Onions, peeled and finely chopped
5 ml Dried Thyme (if you have fresh then use about double the amount)
5 ml Dried Mixed Italian Herbs (or double up for fresh if you have oregano, marjoram & rosemary)
30 ml Olive Oil
30 g Butter
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely grated
1 Bay Leaf (fresh is preferable but dried will do)
1 Large or two medium sized Carrots, peeled and roughly grated – this adds flavor but is optional
750 g Lean Beef Mince
250 g Pork Mince (optional. Use 1kg beef mince if omitting pork)
10 ml Ground Coriander
1 ml Ground Cloves
5 ml Cinnamon
2,5 ml Freshly ground Black Pepper
100 ml Good Quality Red Wine – only ever use wine you would enjoy drinking to cook with
1 x 475 g can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes in Juice
140 g Tomato Paste
1 liter hot beef or chicken stock – I prefer to use chicken.
10 ml Sugar
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese to serve.
Brown the onions, thyme and mixed Italian herbs in the olive oil and butter over medium heat until light golden.
Stir in the garlic, whole bay leaf and grated carrots and stir fry for about a minute or two.
Crank the heat up to high, stir in the beef and pork mince and break them up well with a wooden spoon while mixing them in well with the onions, garlic and carrots.
Stir in the coriander, cloves, cinnamon and a good grinding of black pepper at this stage.
Continue stir frying on high heat until all liquid has evaporated and the meat starts to stick on the pan and turns brown.
Pour the wine into the saucepan to deglaze, scrape up all the bits of caramelized meat and onions from the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon.
Once the alcohol has burned off add the tin of tomatoes and juice. Use a sharp knife to cut up the tomatoes a bit so that they can cook down into the meat.
Scrape in all the tomato puree and mix in well.
Add in the sugar if using. This is optional.
Add in the hot stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer for about an hour and half to two hours, partially covered with lid.
Stir every now and again so that it doesn’t catch in areas on the bottom of the pan.
Once the meat is very well cooked and soft and the liquid has reduced and thickened to a delicious thick sauce, taste the meat and then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Taste again. This takes 2 to 3 hours from when you add the stock until done. Long slow cooking is what gives this dish its rich flavor.
Serve over al dente pasta (I like to drizzle the pasta once cooked with a delicious green peppery olive oil) and with a generous fine grating of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top.
For those following the LCHF/Banting lifestyle serve on top spiralized blanched zucchini or even raw cucumber as I like to do during the summer months.
Enjoy with a glass of nice red wine and a green salad.
For those who don’t eat pork use 1kg beef mince. The pork just adds flavor and richness but is optional.
Enjoy! And be careful who you cook it for 😉