Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce in Italian cuisine, typical of the city of Bologna and Modena. It is customarily used to dress tagliatelle al ragù and to prepare lasagne alla bolognese. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 500g beef mince
For the Bolognese sauce
- 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
- small pack basil, leaves picked, ¾ finely chopped and the rest left whole for garnish
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 125ml red wine
- 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
To season and serve
- 75g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
- 400g spaghetti
- crusty bread, to serve (optional)
- Put a large pan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Add 4 finely chopped bacon rashers and fry for 10 mins until golden and crisp.
- Reduce the heat and add the 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs rosemary, all finely chopped, then fry for 10 mins. Stir the veg often until it softens.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add 500g beef mince and cook stirring for 3-4 mins until the meat is browned all over.
- Add 2 tins plum tomatoes, the finely chopped leaves from ¾ small pack basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 1 beef stock cube, 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli (if using), 125ml red wine and 6 halved cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the plum tomatoes.
- Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hr 15 mins stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce.
- Add the 75g grated parmesan, check the seasoning and stir.
- When the Bolognese is nearly finished, cook 400g spaghetti following the pack instructions.
- Drain the spaghetti and stir into the Bolognese sauce. Serve with more grated parmesan, the remaining basil leaves and crusty bread, if you like.