When it comes to quick and easy pasta dishes full of flavour, it’s hard to pass by a classic spaghetti bolognese (it’s called classic for a reason). Perfect for satisfying loads of hungry mouths for lunch or dinner, or eating and freezing leftovers for a later date, we think we’ve found the best bolognese sauce yet…
- 500g lean beef mince
- 400g dried spaghetti
- 4 rashers of finely diced smoked streaky bacon or good quality pancetta
- 1 tin of chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 tin of passata
- 6 fresh vine ripened cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium onions
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 carrots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium chilli (optional), seeded
- 75g freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 beef stock cube
- Glass of red wine (optional)
- 1-2 tsp of dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1-2 fresh bay leaves
- Handful of fresh basil
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- If you have one, finely chop the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and chilli in a food processor. If not, dice as finely as you can by hand.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan (lid will be needed later), on medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil and gently fry the bacon until crisp and golden.
- Reduce heat slightly and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and chilli along with the dried rosemary. Stir and fry for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
- Increase the heat slightly and add the mince, stirring until the meat is browned all over. Drain any excess fat.
- Drain the tin of tomatoes, as you don’t want to add too much liquid, add to the meat mix with the tin of passata. Add the remaining herbs, tomato puree, stock cube, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and wine. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add.
- Stir well, breaking up the plum tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to low-medium, place the lid on the pan and simmer for at least 75 minutes (the longer the better), until you have a rich based sauce. Stir occasionally to stop sticking. You can leave the sauce at this stage – Elldrew find that leaving it overnight is best for the flavours to infuse.
- Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water as per packet instructions.
- Drain spaghetti and add to the pan once cooked. Stir well to coat the pasta with the tomato sauce. Add parmesan and season to taste.
Serve with some extra parmesan and fresh basil leaves on top for a little garnish, and enjoy with your favourite crusty warm garlic or herb bread. The sauce is freezable and perfect for a quick tasty meal.