I asked the question recently on facebook if anyone would like a traditional bolognese recipe from scratch as I know a lot of people use jars when making it and the response was surprising to say the least! There were lots of responses with an overwhelming desire to make it “properly” so bolognese was our latest cookalong. There are a million recipes for bolognese even in Italy the recipe will vary from region to region, some recipes use chicken livers, sausage, milk, no tomatoes just puree etc so I went with the recipe which is most suited to Ireland as the availability of ingredients can be a big problem for a lot of people depending on where you live in the country, I know it’s impossible to get something as basic as  pancettta in some places so I’m always aware of this and try to work around it. The response was great to the cookalong and everyone who made it loved it and plan to continue using this recipe in the future so it was a success to say the least.

 I’ve decided to go back to the start and spend a bit of time doing the basic recipes that a lot of people mightn’t know, I suppose I assume the recipes always have to be something new and innovative but the old favourites are probably the recipes that feature most often in a family kitchen especially so that’s what I’m going to focus on for the next while…

 
 
what you need….
 

500g minced beef
1 carrot
1 small onion
1 stick celery
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf(if you can’t get 1 don’t worry, it’s fine without)
75g pancetta cubes or a couple of slices of parma ham will do if you can’t get pancetta
150ml white/red wine (it’s up to you)
2tbsp tomato puree
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
olive oil
sea salt
50g butter
100ml water or beef stock
nutmeg
pasta – either penne, rigatoni or tagliatelle

what to do……

heat 3tbsp olive oil and your butter and add your pancetta! Cook for 3-5 mins until golden…
 
chop your veg as small as you can! If you have kids who won’t eat veg, just blitz them in the food proccessor..
add your onions, celery, carrots…
add your garlic and bayleaf and cook over a low heat for about 15 mins…
add your meat and cook until coloured! Make sure you break up your meat with your spoon so you have no lumps…

Season your meat at this stage…

add your wine, turn up heat and cook for 3-5 mins to burn off alcohol…
add your puree, tomatoes and water…
leave to simmer over a low heat for about an hour! If you can leave it longer do but I know most people are under pressure for time…

If the sauce is drying out just add some water…

cook until nice and thick! Check seasoning and adjust accordingly…
 
cook your pasta in salted boiling water and add to your sauce…
 
serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan on top…

buon appetito….

p.s is there any recipe in particular you would like me to do???

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