This versatile sauce can be served as Spaghetti Bolognaise or to make Lasagne. It is one of the most popular Italian pasta dishes. Did you know that the Italians traditionally serve bolognaise sauce with larger pastas such as tagliatelle, tortellini or gnocchi, but never with spaghetti! The thicker pastas are able to hold the chunky sauce easier. See the image below.
30 ml butter
1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
175 ml finely chopped onion
125 ml finely grated carrot
125 ml finely chopped celery (optional)
15 ml sunflower or olive oil
250g chopped mushrooms (optional)
500g lean beef mince
5 ml mixed dried herbs
2.5 ml salt
30 ml cake flour
1 x 410g tin peeled whole tomatoes, liquidised
15 ml tomato paste (optional for a good red colour)
175 ml boiling water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 ml chopped parsley
500 g spaghetti
3 litres boiling water
5 ml salt
15 ml oil
250 ml finely grated tasty hard cheese
chopped parsley to garnish
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan and add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery.
- Fry gently, stir from time to time until vegetables are tender and golden. Remove from heat.
- At the same time, heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan and add the mushrooms and meat.
- Stir-fry over moderate heat for 10 minutes or until the meat is browned and crumbly.
- Add the fried vegetables, herbs and salt and turn up the heat slightly.
- Cook until almost dry, stirring from time to time. Stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring for 5 minutes more.
- Add the liquidised tomato and tomato paste if used. Stir well and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust the consistency by gradually stirring in as much of the boiling water as necessary.
- The mixture should be thick and moist, not crumbly or runny. Stir in the parsley and simmer 5 minutes more.
- In the meantime, bring 3 litres of water to the boil and add the salt, oil and broken spaghetti.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes or until the spaghetti is cooked to taste.
- Drain in a colander. Place the boiled spaghetti on a heated serving platter or shallow dish of a suitable size.
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the pasta and shape the pasta with the back of a spoon to create a hollow in the centre. Spoon sauce into hollow and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.
- Serve immediately or keep warm for a short while.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the cheese over the dish just before serving and garnish with parsley.
Makes 6 servings.