26 November 2010

A hearty Bolognese

A saucy Bolognese is great for veggies. It contains staples such as onions, carrots, celery and leeks; and you could even toss some finely diced parsnip or swede into the mix (but not too much). Another thing that works wonders in a Bolognese sauce is mushrooms. You can make a veggie/vegan version by just using mushrooms, or you can compromise by just taking out the meat.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Total cooking time: 45 minutes-1 hour

Ingredients (serves 4-6 people)
  • 500g minced beef or 500g mushrooms, finely chopped like mince
  • A few splashes of olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 onions and/or leeks, finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced (optional, but good)
  • A large glass of red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • A few bay leaves (if you like)
  • A few sprigs of rosemary and/or thyme, leaves finely chopped

Instructions:
  • Place a large frying pan or pot over medium heat. Add a glug of oil and brown the meat and/or mushrooms until they're nicely coloured up. Toss in a bit of salt and pepper as you cook.
  • Add all the diced veggies (onions/leek, carrots, garlic and celery or any other veg, if using). Fry them with the meat and mushrooms until they're glossy and softened.
  • Give the mix a nice drink of wine and let it guzzle it up until it's slurped up about half. Stir in the tomato puree. Mix well. Add the tinned tomatoes. Fold them through. Add the bay leaf and let the whole thing bubble away happily while you set the table and get the water on for the pasta.
  • After a 15-30 minute simmer, the sauce should be ready. Add the fresh herbs and fold the pasta through. Plate up with a handful of leafy greens and/or cheese, a drizzle of olive oil... Grubs up. Get your fork.

Serving suggestions:
  • Cooked spaghetti noodles
  • A good handful of fresh rocket or other leafy greens
  • A hunk of Parmesan cheese to grate (optional)

Recipe courtesy of Abel & Cole

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