A simple, and very effective, bolognese

Homemade bolognese has always been a favourite of mine, and yet very underestimated by many. As a well known dish it is an easy-to-please signature meal which accommodates families; picky children; and those who couldn’t fathom cooking as a skill.

Bolognese is not only easy to conjure up, it is also financially friendly. There are 3 primary ways that bolognese helps you save the pennies:

  1. in one shop you’ve started, or bulked up, your herb and spice rack (and these purchases will last you a while)
  2. any excess products not put in the dish can be used for another meal
  3. by cooking a little more than you need to, you’ve got dinner two nights in a row by whacking it in the fridge, or a cheeky reheated meal saved away in the freezer that’s not from a box

When I make bolognese I usually use beef, but to add a little extra I often include bacon or chorizo. Alternatively when hosting for vegetarians, quorn mince works equally well.

For the/my basic foundation:

  1. minced beef
  2. 1 large white onion, chopped
  3. 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (for a larger meal)
  4. 1 pepper, chopped (I tend to sway red, but that’s your call)
  5. mushrooms, sliced into quarters (I dislike mushrooms, but the majority don’t)
  6. bacon or chorizo (not necessities)
  7. garlic bread for the side (if you so wish)
  8. olive/extra virgin oil
  9. dry or fresh spaghetti (add salt and a little oil)

For all the flavour:

  1. garlic (all the garlic)
  2. basil, ALWAYS FRESH basil
  3. salt and ground pepper
  4. beef stock (I sometimes also use gravy for thickening)
  5. dry oregano
  6. fennel seeds (personally, a very small amount)
  7. paprika
  8. red wine (a glass for bolognese, and a glass, or few, for you)
  9. worcester sauce
  10. instant coffee (depending how rich I want it)
  11. cheese for topping (parmigiano-reggiano or a cheddar – again, not a necessity)

I won’t drag on with the step-by-step process. Also, flavour quantity is always up to the chef. What I essentially wish to divulge is the cheap and easy way to up the game on your standard bolognese. The trick: simmer and stew! Allow all the flavours to mingle, because small talk never really goes that far. Once everything is in the pot, and depending on how hungry the mob is, allow to simmer away on a low heat for at least 30-40 minutes.

Bon appétit!



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