CF 10/60 All Time Favourite Bolognese Sauce

2015-01-02
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Ingredients

300g to 500g minced beef/chicken/turkey/veal/pork or a combination of any

100g onions chopped finely

1 small carrot halved

2 sticks celery and leaves chopped finely

20g fresh parsley and stalks chopped separately

small bunch of fresh whole basil (reserve some leaves for garnish)

4 cloves garlic crushed or grated

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano

1 tablespoon tomato sauce

2 to 4 bay leaves

1 bottle tomato puree/sauce/passata

1 can (400g) diced peeled tomatoes

1 to 2 cups water/stock

4 tablespoons olive or cooking oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and some more for when serving

chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Method

Add the oil in a large heavy pot over a moderate heat. When hot add the onions, garlic, parsley stalks and celery and cook by stirring for roughly ten minutes or until the onions and celery soften. Reduce the heat if necessary to stop the onions from burning, the best result would be to have a soft and golden brown look. Increase the heat and now add the mince and stir to brown the meat and break the clumps apart as you stir to cook for roughly 10 minutes. Don’t stew the meat by cooking it on a heat that is too low.

Now add all of the remaining sauce ingredients except the topping and garnishes. Water can be used to rinse out the sauce bottles and the tomato tin to save the wastage that settles at the bottom of these. Bring the sauce to boil then cover and lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes bring the carrots out of the sauce and leave the sauce to simmer further. Mash the carrots to a pulp and return it to the pan with the Parmesan. At this stage check to see the liquid content of the sauce if it requires  adding the remaining water making sure that the water is of the same temperature as the sauce to ensure even cooking time. Cook for at least 30 more minutes. Check for seasoning and then serve over spaghetti, pasta, or with meat balls see recipe (CF 11/60). Follow by sprinkling Parmesan, parsley, basil leaves as preferred and add chili flakes for some heat! Extra virgin olive oil may be drizzled to each serving.

Variations and My Story

Diced or whole red chilies can be added during the frying of the onions if a spicy sauce is desired. The sauce improves with longer cooking time because the tomatoes break down to taste even sweeter. Adding a teaspoon of tomato sauce during cooking does a good job of making the sauce slightly sweeter too but alternatively a teaspoon of sugar can be added during cooking. At least one hour is needed to cook this sauce but for better results leave it simmering for longer.  Make it in a large batch to freeze for later use. In my opinion, this is such an easy dish there shouldn’t be any excuse to not make it.  Some will use red wine during the browning of onion but let the wine evaporate before adding the rest of the ingredients.

A favourite dish of my international students from many countries.

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