Bolognese

It may be Spring but the wind is blowing and the rain is striking the pane and you need something comforting and warm.  A hearty bowl of spaghetti bolognese will satisfy your tastebuds as well as warm your belly.  A dreamy mix of bacon, tomatoes, onions and more this dish is a must try.

As a teen I worked for a feisty and funny Italian family that had their own small restaurant.  Sadly, it was in a very poor location and eventually had to close.  But it was the BEST Italian food anyone has ever tasted EVER.  Elena, the matriarch,  swore like a sailor and had taught herself how to speak English by watching American soap operas.  She was an unbelievable cook and her pasta sauce was unmatchable.  So I’ve never really attempted any tomato based Italian dish until this day because it can only pale in comparison to her cooking.  But I’ve now decided that I will no longer fear Italian cooking and would start with a simple bolognese.  I’m so glad I did and I hope you enjoy it too.

Ingredients

4 bacon rashers or strips or pancetta chopped (I used smoked back bacon here in the UK but regular US style bacon is good too)
1 lb or 500g lean minced beef
1 glass red wine
1 large onion chopped into rough pieces
1 carrot peeled and grated
1 stalk celery chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon oregano
2 x 14 oz or 400g chopped tomato
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
3 chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Choice of pasta (I suggest tagliatelle, fettuchine or spaghetti)

Instructions

1.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over low-medium heat.

2.  Add bacon and fry in th eoil.

3.  Add grated carrot, chopped onion and minced garlic.  Allow to sweat down for several minutes until softened. But not browned!

4.  Turn up the heat to medium, make a well in the middle and add the mince.  Brown off.

5.  Make another well and add the wine.  And allow alcohol in the wine to burn off and reduce by a third.

6. Stir in a tablespoon tomato paste.

7.  Stir in chopped tomatoes and celery.

8.  Stir in a couple dashes of Worchestershire sauce.


9.  Add 3 chopped basil leaves and teaspoon oregano.


10.  Leave for 40-60 minutes. At this point you should be thinking about when you need to start your pasta cooking so it will be ready when the sauce is done.


11.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook 5 more minutes then spoon over pasta.  Enjoy!

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