Friday, 2 September 2011

My Mother's italian .. so when it comes to Bolognese ...


This recipe is from my book Prepped. My Bolognese is probably my signature dish. It's intense, sweet and meaty. So forget onions, never mind celery and throw out the carrots. this is 100% tomato. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I rely on this sauce. I am the third generation to make this and without it my culinary offering on a day to day would be halved.  I absolutely depend on it as the base for so many of my dishes.  
It is typical of my style, easy, delicious and versatile. So make more.  It freezes and to be honest it taste so much better the following day .. oh yes .. I almost always finish a spaghetti bolognaise with a crunch fresh green salad and drink and glass of fruity merlot.


Makes 10
Preparation time 12
Cooking time 4 hours
Suitable for freezing YES
Make extra to freeze

2 tbs olive oil
1kg minced beef (less than 5% fat best)
½ bulb garlic finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
350ml pasata
100g tomato pure
1 level tbs sea salt
100ml water
1 tbs sugar (Optional)

1 In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and add the mince beef.  Brown the beef well.  This gives it extra flavor. 
2 Add all the rest of the ingredients mix well and bring to the boil.
3 Reduce the heat and simmer on very low for 4 hours.  Check regularly that the sauce is not sticking to the base of the pan, stir and add a drop of water if it looks too gloopy.
4 After 4 hours the sauce should be a dark rich, deep red color and have an intense sweet tomato flavor.  Taste.  Adjust seasoning if necessary by adding a little more salt, and a tablespoon of sugar if you like it slightly sweeter.
Serve with Spaghetti and plenty of fresh parmesan.



  1. what a lovely and simple recipe for bolognese... very different to mine but that's what's so great about this world of food blogging eh?... by the way, just noticed on your header quote about being a domestic goddess, should it read: 'one step ahead', rather than 'on step'... a missing 'e' methinks?... not that i'm pedantic or anything, i'm usually the LAST person to notice these kinds of things...

  2. I'm a proud half italian and love hand me down recipes like this! My Nonna's recipe is totally different, but that is the charm of home cooked Italian dishes. I need to take some time to whip up a huuuge batch and freeze in preparation for the cooler nights ahead. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  3. That looks so good, very different to what I usually make too.
    I may even need to lie down now you've said that there are no onions....
    But, hey, I'm open to new ideas!

  4. Hi, that is the recipe I use & have always added sugar to this as I think it balances the flavours. Made bread, ice cream & apple pie today.


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