#101pastas 002: Basic bolognese

Spag bol was the first thing I learned to cook.  I reckon it was about 1993.  It was a go-to meal for myself and one of my fellow Herd Gastronomers when we lived in student halls in New Cross in 1998.  My kids demand it on at least a weekly basis.  It’s most likely the thing I’ve cooked the most in my lifetime.  I’d like to think I’ve got pretty decent at it over the last 27 years.  The key ingredient here is time.  The longer it’s on, the better it gets.

Serves 4
Olive oil
White onion 1 medium
Celery 1 stick
Garlic 3-5 cloves
Bay leaf 1 fresh (or 2-3 dried)
Minced beef 500g
Passata 500ml (or a tin of chopped tomatoes if you don’t have passata)
Plum tomatoes 1 tin
Spaghetti (or other pasta of your choice) 100g per person

Fry the meat in a couple of batches and drain off any excess fat.  You don’t want to over-crowd the pan – you want to brown the meat, not stew it. Set aside.

Dice the onion and celery and fry in the same pan on a medium heat with the bay leaf for a few minutes.

Crush/mince/dice the garlic and stir in.

Add the meat.

Add the tomatoes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add a generous amount of oregano (probably half a handful).

Put the lid on, turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for as long as you have (I usually try and give it at least a couple of hours).

How to cook pasta

Categories101 Pastas