Now this was what the fuss was all about, making that marinara sauce from scratch and all. Spaghetti bolognese is probably the most eaten pasta in my house….I guess initially the kids and hubster tolerated it because they love my garlic bread (garlic bread is a must with bolognese), but of course I try to make both dishes pleasurable rather than having to just eat it for the sake of eating it. So after much trials and errors, I have stuck to this recipe of making bolognese. It’s actually silly thinking you have to put so much effort to making something as common and simple as a bolognese but simplest things are the hardest to get it right sometimes.
Hubster and the kids do not appreciate bolognese that taste sickly sweet. I think balance is the key and also I have recently learnt that you should cook the beef down to a near crisp rather than just colour it grey before pouring the sauce in. This brings out more flavour and depth to the sauce. Adding the right vegetables also is key. I think carrots add a subtle sweetness to the sauce. And more vegetables means more win for the kids. Of course you might ask why I didn’t add a celery along with the other base vegetables, of course you can. But celery is not something I have in my fridge all the time so I work with what I have and try to bring out the best outcome. But feel free to add celery if you fancy.
The bolognese sauce was enough to feed us four and still have leftovers for the next day. You can either eat with pasta again or convert it to some other dishes such as;
- Spaghetti pasta
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 1 medium onion
- 1 carrot
- 4 garlic cloves
- 250 gms minced beef
- 2-3 cups of base tomato sauce
- 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste
- Olive oil
- Black Pepper
- Chopped parsley
- Put the peeled onion and peeled carrot in a food processor. Whiz it up till you have a rather fine mix, I do this because my kids tend to pick out any chunky onions or carrots but if you're feeding adults, I don't think it matters that much.
- Use the same processor after you scooped out the onion and carrot mix and blitz the peeled garlic cloves. Saves time! Start cooking your spaghetti pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water.
- Heat a deep frying pan with olive oil and first sautee the onion and carrot till it has softened or lost most of its water content. You don't want it to brown or burn, just a little colour.
- Dish out the carrot and onion, pour more olive oil into the pan, sautee the beef mince till it reached almost a crispy consistency. You want the beef mince to cook rather dry and it loses the greyish colour.
- Just before it reaches it peak doneness, add in the chopped garlic. Cook away the rawness of the garlic but they don't have to colour.
- Add the carrot and onion into the pan. Mix everything together.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Stir it around. Add a little water to loosen the sauce or a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Adding the tomato paste gives it a bit more depth to hold up with the taste of the beef. Also, it gives a darker colour familiar with a bolognese sauce.
- Season quite generously with black pepper. Be wary with the salt because the sauce itself has salt. So taste and adjust.
- Let it simmer for about 10 to 15 mins.
- Strain the pasta.
- Turn the heat off the bolognese and add your chopped parsley.
- Toss the spaghetti in the bolognese sauce. Dish on a plate and pour more sauce on top.
- Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese and more parsley. Eat while it's still warm.