Everyone and their gran has their own recipe for bolognese (my granny’s bolognese was my favourite growing up, I absolutely loved it and I have never been able to recreate it). It was one of the first dishes I learned to cook, and it’s been a journey to perfect it ever since.
I’ve been cooking this recipe for a while now and it is epic. Cooking it low and slow for a few hours definitely makes the difference, so make sure you do it! I use guanciale in my bolognese, which is cured and has soo much flavour. I always get mine from Celino’s but if you can’t find it, you can use a good quality pancetta instead. I also recommend using butcher quality mince – I get mine from Donald Butchers, and I get all my fruit and veggies from the Fresh Fruit and Veg Shop.
The Best Spaghetti Bolognese
Ingredients (serves 6)
50g guanciale or quality pancetta, diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, finely diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
500g beef mince
250g pork mince
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
250ml red wine
500g tomato passata
1 beef stock pot or cube (I use Knorr rich beef stock pots)
Spaghetti (about 75g per person)
Grated parmesan, to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 150c (fan). Put a large saucepan on over a medium heat, then add your diced guanciale or pancetta. Cook until the fat is released and they are starting to crisp up. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Use the remaining fat from the guanciale to cook the diced onion, carrot and fennel with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and the pork and beef mince and cook for a few minutes more until the meat is browned.
3. Add the oregano, basil, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and the red wine and cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced. Add your passata, then half-fill the passata container with water, swill it around, then pour the tomatoey water into the pan along with the stock pot or cube and the cooked guanciale/pancetta. Bring the whole lot to the boil, season with salt and pepper, then pop the lid on and cook in the oven for 3 hours.
4. After 3 hours, remove the lid, reduce the heat to 120c (fan) and cook for a further half hour uncovered. While it finishes cooking, cook your pasta to packet instructions. Add it to the sauce, toss to coat everything together, season with salt and pepper, and serve with some grated parmesan sprinkled over.