Monday, 24 June 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese

A great fun Italian dish here, Spaghetti Bolognese, a staple for any twenty-something. I have fresh chopped cherry tomatoes and mushrooms in mine, some people don't, or they put onions in etc. It's really dictated by how you feel, but most importantly what you have to hand!

Serves 2
15 Minutes Cooking Time
400g Steak Mince
300g Spaghetti
Garlic Baguette (But I used Tear 'n' Share bread today)
Bolognese Sauce
6 Cherry Tomatoes (a handful)
100g Mushrooms
30g Parmesan/Cheddar/ any strong crumbly cheese
A handful of washed spinach and a handful of washed rocket salad (Arugula Salad)
A few cloves of garlic
Balsamic Vinegar

Yes, Balsamic, as I've said before and will do numerously again, this is vital for any Italian dish. This to Roman cuisine is the same as Oyster Sauce to Chinese cooking. Get your kettle on, the oven on at 200c (or whatever the instructions suggest), a big frying pan on at medium high and a little saucepan ready at medium for spaghetti. To make sure your spaghetti cooks nice and evenly, grab you 300g as a whole bunch, twist, then drop this into your water, together with a pinch of salt. This should take about 15 minutes.

Your oven should be pre-heated so bang your garlic bread in, and remember the trick I told you all in the Lasagne recipe! Half way through, split each slice of bread to ensure the butter melts better! Get this in your oven and this should take around 10-12 minutes.

By now your pan is lovely, hot and ready for your steak mince. Get this on the go with a pinch of salt, pepper and a few glugs of the all important Balsamic Vinegar, and drop the heat down to a medium, we don't want too high a heat, otherwise the mince won't be soft and juicy, how we want it. We don't want the fizzling and sizzling from the pan, we just want a nice bubbling away of the natural juices and the vinegar. This sound is a good way to make sure the steak is soft and succulent.

Now this is on the go, finely chop your garlic and quarter up mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Tip for cutting small tomatoes, pierce the slightly, then use this mark to slice down, if we just try and slice we'll just end up squashing the tomato. Poor Chap!
Once these are cut, chuck them in the mince with the bolognese sauce. Mix and leave to blip away. If you want a thicker sauce leave it alone, if you want a more saucy mix, keep it nice and agitated, stir it constantly with a wooden spoon. I like a compromise of the two!

The authentic way to serve pasta is to pre-mix the pasta and sauce in a pan, rather than splodge the sauce on top afterwards. So drain the spaghetti fully, pour this all in the pan, mix through well, warm through, serve in a big old pasta dish with your spinach and rocket (Arugula in the US), a the grated cheese on top (Pretty Classic!) and the garlic bread dotted around. The final serving is your way of being an artist, be individual and imaginative, be mostly, enjoy!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you're all enjoying it, I'm really enjoying blogging!
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  1. What a coincidence! I made spag bol for myself and the children today. I also used steak mince, although generally I use turkey mince, with a dash of marmite and yes, I put onions and garlic in mine.

    Yours looks delicious.

    Well done.

    1. Thanks Debbie, I trust you also used Balsamic? xx

  2. Dan, I always add a few onions. If you don't want them to be too strong you can always soften them in a pan before hand, even add a spoon of sugar to bring out the sweetness? Add the onions when you have cooked the mince.

    1. I've never though of adding sugar to onions, but it makes total sense. Would brown or white sugar matter?