One of my all time favourite comfort foods is spaghetti Bolognese. You just can’t beat it for an instant pick me up. Spaghetti Bolognese isn’t my any means fancy or exotic but it does have a certain something that other dishes just don’t have. It’s reliable, dependable and made with a little care and effort, is always delicious and will go down a treat with even the pickiest of eaters.
My recipe is my no means authentically Italian but after years of adjusting and tweaking, is just the way I like it. Feel free to do your own tweaking and make it your own.
500g lean beef mince
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large carrots, grated
250g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider or red wine vinegar
2 beef oxo cubes
2 tsp dried basil
2 tins 400g chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
Freshly ground black pepper
400g dried spaghetti
Cheddar cheese, grated, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large cooking pot, once heated add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Now add in the beef mince and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the mince is browned all over. Once the mince has browned, throw in the grated carrot and mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes.
At this stage, crumble in the beef oxo cubes along with the dried basil, cider vinegar, honey and tomato puree. Stir everything around really well before adding the tinned tomatoes. Again stir everything together then turn the heat down to low before simmering away for 30 minutes. Initially the Bolognese mixture will be very watery but should become rich and glossy with a gorgeous dark burgundy colour. After 30 minutes, taste the sauce and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve over freshly cooked spaghetti and sprinkle over a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese (or parmesan if you want to be more authentic).
Serves 4 – 6