This is comfort food of the highest form. It’s why I’ve never really thought to blog it before, even though it’s one of my most favourite things to eat in all the earth, it really is just a messy looking bowl of comfort that you wolf down in front of the TV in your PJ’s, not exactly fine dining.
But it was when my boyfriend, standing over the pot of simmering sauce, mumbled “Why oh WHY have you not blogged this yet?” And then proceeds to almost burn his mouth trying to sneakily grab a spoonful. And I remember how I did exactly the same thing with my mum’s bolognese, and my dad says he did the same thing with HIS mum’s bolognese … and I realise, that we don’t always WANT fine dining recipes. Sometimes, you just want something that you can drool over and then wolf down, and feel happily full with a glass of cheap wine in front of some so-bad-that-it’s-good TV.
This is the way they make it in Tuscany, and therefore the way I was taught. And they call it ragù, which is so much more beautiful a word, as it cut’s out the way English people abbreviate spaghetti bolognese to ‘Spag-Bol’. Which is, let’s be honest, horrendous.
This recipe will give you a large amount of the stuff, well enough for 4 people, or even 6 little bowls. We ate a (larger than necessary) portion and have saved the rest in the fridge. You can also freeze the stuff and it will last forever. See, it’s perfect.
- 750g of lean steak mince
- 3 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 Stalks of rosemary
- 3 large garlic cloves
- olive oil
- 1 large white onion
- 2 bay leaves
- Chop up the onion and garlic into small pieces. Heat a drizzle of oil in a saucepan (medium heat) until hot and add both to the pan. Stir and stir until they are softened.
- Add the mince and stir until browned (Side note – is it just me, or do you HATE the smell of cooking mince!?) Then add all the chopped tomatoes and the tomato paste, and stir, stir stir. Chop the rosemary up finely and add that, and salt and pepper into the pot. Place on a high heat for 15 minutes with the lid on whilst stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
- After 15 minutes, turn down the heat to just below medium and keep the lid on. Add the second stick of rosemary (whole) and the two bay leaves (whole) It should stay this way for 1-2 hours, depending on how reduced and meaty you like your ragu. (I would keep mine on there all day if I could.) If you think it’s getting a little sticky, just add half a cup of water and keep going.
- When you think your meat is done, put the spaghetti on. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. When done, drain and then add the ragu to the spaghetti pan. Mix and then serve. With a LOT of cheese and a healthy dose of TOWIE or MIC.