Monday, 27 September 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Spaghetti Bolognese

Alright, here we go! I used to hate Spaghetti Bolognese because my mum would make it at least once a week while I was growing up. Upon leaving home I, however, very quickly realised why she cooked this Italian classic so often: it is quick to make and requires minimal planning (just make sure to have minced beef in your freezer and a few basic ingredients in your pantry). And Spaghetti Bolo is in fact incredibly delicious. Today it is one of my absolute favourite dishes and, like in the old days, it's on the menu at least once a week.

For 4 people you will need:
olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 chopped cloves of garlic
a can of tomatos
tomato paste
dried oregano or basil
400-500g of minced beef
dried pasta
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese

1. Start boiling some water with a bit of oil and salt for the pasta.

2. Heat the oil in a pot. Add the chopped onion and let it fry till the onion pieces are very light brown. Add the beef, make sure you stir it around and "chop" it so you don't have any big lumps left. Add oregano or basil (2-4 tablespoonfuls depending on how you like it)

3. Add the garlic and keep stirring till the beef is brown and there are no more lumps.

4. Add the canned tomatos and 2-3 tablespoonfuls of tomato paste. Stir out the paste till you get a nice even sauce. Add some salt and pepper.

5. Bring it to a boil then let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or longer if you are still waiting for your guests to arrive! Taste it before serving to see if it needs more salt and pepper.

6. Add the pasta to the boiling water right before you want to eat and follow the instructions on the pack.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I also like to serve it with fresh bread and a simple salad with tomatos.

The recipe can easily be stretched if you come home to a kitchen with unexpected guests - just add another onion, some more garlic and oregano/basil, an extra can of tomatos and boil some more pasta!

Spaghetti Bolognese makes for a good packed lunch as it tastes great the day after. Simply re-heat it in the microwave or in a pot with a bit of milk.

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