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Friday, 27 November 2009

Bolognese **Easy

Contemporary Bolognese.

The first recipe I would like to share with you is the classic, Bolognese. It is one of the best loved dishes of all time. Bolognese is simple to prepare and makes a hearty meal for the whole family. I believe that just about everyone has a recipe for Bolognese and they all differ, which to me shows character and the ability to survive. Arguments rage on about what is traditional and what ingredients should or should not be used. I don't wish to enter that arena so I have titled it Contemporary Bolognese. When I was at school I did 6 weeks work experience in a local hotel as a Trainee Chef, which is where I met Franco Rosella, a lovely half English, Italian man who gave me this recipe. He told me his Mother had taught it to him when he was growing up. That was in 1983. Over the following years I made some small changes (using tinned tomatoes and dried herbs) for convenience and speed but nearly everyone who has ever eaten it says it is the best they ever had! Give it a try and I'm certain you will love it.

Serves 2 people as a main meal.

400g extra lean ground beef         3 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion                              1tsp fresh sea salt
8 mushrooms (caps only)             A half tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic                         1tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tin chopped tomatoes               1tsp dried basil
150g Tagliatelle pasta                 1tsp sugar
3tbsp tomato puree                    150ml beef stock
1 fresh carrot                             30g butter
100g of hard cheese

Peel and chop the onion, peel and finely chop the garlic, peel and dice the carrot, slice the mushrooms.

Empty the tin of tomatoes into a bowl and remove all bits of skin, stalk and eyes.

Mix the herbs, basil, salt, pepper and sugar in a small glass.

Brown the minced beef in a large saucepan over a medium heat, stirring regularly.

Place the onions, mushrooms, carrot and garlic in a medium sized saucepan with the olive oil or some butter if preferred, over a low heat and cook gently, stirring regularly, creating a soffritto.

Pour your stock into a small saucepan and heat through, very gently - DO NOT allow to boil.

When the beef is browned remove it from the heat and drain off any excess fat. Return to the pan, stir in the tomato puree and simmer very gently for a minute, stirring constantly until a lovely deep red/brown meat is achieved.

Now add the butter and stir in until it has melted.

Pour the stock into the beef pan and stir in thoroughly.

Pour your herb mixture into the soffritto, stir in and simmer gently for 2 minutes.

Transfer the soffritto mixture into the beef pan.

Stir thoroughly and cook on low for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the beef pan and stir thoroughly.

Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and simmer gently, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes. stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the Tagliatelle al dente style.

Serve the sauce over the pasta like this and then grate the cheese over the top. Delicious!!!

Tips: Buy the leanest, best quality beef you can afford as it will taste much better. This dish really should be topped with cheese so choose a quality, genuine Parmigiano Reggiano or hard Cheddar over pre-grated Parmesan which is quite foul! I always grind some black pepper over the meal before serving. Try pouring a little olive oil over the drained pasta before adding the sauce for a lovely authentic flavour. Double the ingredients and it will easily feed a family of four or store in the freezer for another day! Enjoy.

I recommend that you use free range and organic produce for every recipe, diet, juice and detox found within this site. There is no substitute for good quality food!


  1. Tried this the other week. Whenever ive cooked bolognese in the past i have always stuck to the basic recipe of tomatoes and mushrooms so was interested on how the inclusion of bazil, sugar ete would turn out. Do angels dance? They did on my taste buds. The added ingredients worked a treat. Good stuff Glenn.

  2. Cheers Dr Vollin - I am glad you enjoyed it!



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