Friday, 24 January 2014

A Family Favourite, Spaghetti Bolognaise Cooked Long and Slow

This sauce is my take on bolognaise. There are hundreds of versions of bolognaise, but this is my interpretation of the one my mother and my sister made.  My measurements are a little variable, but you can judge for yourself how much seasoning you want to add. The sugar takes away the acidity of the tomatoes, so I would advise you to add it. This sauce is quick to put together, but it needs to be cooked for a long time to really bring out the flavours. I don't have a slow cooker, so I leave it simmering for about four hours.   If you can make this sauce one day and serve it the next, it will be even better. This has always been my family's favourite meal.

The ingredients

Plus this.

Browned meat with celery and onions put in to soften.

With the addition of peppers.

Then tomatoes, herbs and spices.

Simmering away.

Served with pasta, a salad and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Ragu (Serves 6)

a good glug of olive oil (a generous Tablespoon)
1 1/2 to 2 lbs of lean minced beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
celery leaves
1 pepper, green, red or yellow
2  14 ounce tins of tomatoes
1 - 2 teaspoons oregano
fresh basil (if you have it)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 4 ounce tin tomato puree

Put the olive oil in a good, heavy pan.
Add the meat and brown it, stirring to break it up.
Turn down the heat and add the onion, garlic, celery sticks and pepper.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.
Pour in the tomatoes.
Add salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon of each), oregano, sugar, celery leave and basil.
Stir to mix and bring to simmering point again.
Turn down heat and add tomato puree.  Stir again.
Leave to simmer for at least two hours.  I cook mine for four hours until it is dark in colour.
You will need to stir it occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serve with spaghetti or tagliatelli and freshly grated Parmesan.
A fresh green salad adds a nice bit of crunch and garlic bread makes the meal go farther.


  1. Mmm.. sounds and looks delicious Annabellouise! I make the simplest Bolognaise but would love to try your variation :)

  2. Aaaah, you are making me hungry! Your pictures are so enticing. enJOYing checking out your recipes. My recipes have become boring, and yours have a bit of a different take I'd like to try.