Pasta Bolognese - like the Italians make it

I can't believe that I've never posted this recipe on my page....! It is a staple in our household and I make it time and time again.

I really struggled with naming this recipe. I always try to stay away from calling my recipes authentic this, that and the other and usually call them something like "Indian inspired chicken" or "Asian inspired barbecued chicken" because I don't want to make statements that I can't backup. But when it comes to this bolognese recipe I am quite certain that it could be served in any Italian household and everyone would love it :) It's a bold statement but I an confident that I can back it up with a really good dish.

Bolognese is the type of food that most people have their favourite recipe for. I've been making this dish for years and it had gotten so complicated and had so many ingredients that I lost the idea of a basic bolognese. When you look over this recipe you see that there are not many ingredients and probably the first thing you notice is that there is no garlic. Yes THERE IS NO GARLIC! And also no herbs, no tomatoes, no chilli and just no frills. When I've had this sort of food in Italy, it never had any of these things and I absolutely loved it every single time. This is pasta with a meat sauce and it should taste like meat sauce, not taste of garlic, rosemary or chilli.

This is so simple to make but you must give it time to cook. If you rush it, you won't get the result that you want. And the result is a fantastic family food that I promise you everyone will love!

olive oil

1 large onion

2 stalks of celery

1 large carrot

500 gr beef mince

500 gr pork mince

4 tablespoons tomato purée

1 small wine glass of red wine

50 ml whole milk

500 ml beef stock

salt and pepper

Tagliatelle or other flat pasta

Parmesan cheese to serve

Start by finely chopping the vegetables. Try to get them as small as you possibly can because you want them to melt into the sauce. Put a little olive oil into a large pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes with a pinch of salt.

While the vegetables are cooking, put the mince in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and give it a good mix. This is a very important step because you mix the two meats, break it down so when it goes into the pan it doesn't go into large clumps and it cooks evenly. When the vegetables have had 5 minutes, add the mince and brown.

When the meat has browned nicely, add the tomato purée and cook for a minute before adding the red wine. Let the wine cook for a minute or so, stir in the milk and then add the beef stock. Season with a little salt and pepper. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, put a lid on it and let this simmer gently for at least two hours. If you've got the time, three hours will give you the absolute best sauce. Go back to it when you remember and give it a little stir. Half an hour before serving, remove the lid and let the sauce reduce and thicken. Once you are ready to serve it, taste it and adjust the seasoning if you need to.

Cook the pasta a minute less then the packet says. You want it to have a bite to it because when you add it to the meat sauce it will continue to cook. And do not use spaghetti! You want to use a flat pasta that can hold the sauce. If you use spaghetti, the sauce will not cling to the pasta. So, once the pasta is ready, drain it and mix into the sauce.

Serve in the middle of the table with a generous grating of parmesan cheese and perhaps a crusty bread. And since you've already opened up a bottle of red wine you might as well have a glass of that to top off a nice meal :)


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