Spaghetti Bolognese is one of our favorite weeknight dinners. I’ve made this dish countless times and every time without fail, our house always smells like a Trattoria in Italy.
Most traditional Bolognese recipes call for red wine but I chose to omit it since we might not always have that in our fridge. Honestly, I love it as it is. However, to develop that rich meaty flavor, I highly recommend simmering the meat sauce for at least 30 mins. My preferred timing is 45 mins.
Besides spaghetti, you could use fettuccine, penne, orecchiette or any pretty much any other type of pasta you fancy. Store any leftover meat sauce and it’ll tastes even better the next day. That’s if there’s any left.
2 tbsp cooking oil (I’m using olive oil)
500 g minced beef – thawed at room temperature
2 strips streaky bacon – cut into small cubes
1 large carrot – diced finely
1 small yellow onion – diced finely
2 large cloves garlic – minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
200 g tomato puree
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp Herb de Provence (substitute with dried oregano or Italian seasoning if unavailable)
1 ½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 cups chicken stock (or more if needed)
450 g dried pasta (I’m using spaghetti)
Sweet basil leaves – to garnish
In a large Dutch oven or thick base pot, heat 2 tbsp cooking oil and add in minced beef.
Cook over medium high heat until most of the water has evaporated and lightly browned, about 2 mins.
Remove meat from pot and set aside. There will be brown bits left behind and that’s okay.
Using the same pot, add in 1 tsp oil along with bacon, onion and garlic.
Sauté over medium low heat, taking care not to burn the onion and garlic, about 1 min.
When the bacon starts to color, add in carrot and mix well.
Add in cooked minced beef, flour and toss evenly, so that all the flour has disappeared.
Pour in the rest of the ingredients – tomato paste, tomato puree, celery salt, Herb de Provence, chicken stock, salt, pepper, sugar and stir well.
Bring to boil and cover with lid slightly ajar, simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 mins.
Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.
The meat sauce will thicken as it cooks. Add some water if the sauce is too thick.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Place cooked pasta into a large heated pan and ladle in desired amount of meat sauce.
Drizzle in a little pasta water at a time to loosen the pasta.
Plate pasta accordingly and grate parmesan cheese on top.
Garnish with chopped sweet basil leaves and serve immediately.