Spaghetti Bolognaise

I often make a bolognaise sauce, which I use in many recipes, including pancakes and lasagne. You can opt for a vegetarian bolognaise sauce and replace the beef mince with lentils, which lends the sauce a more nutty flavour and is also high in protein and low in carbs.  This recipe includes spaghetti, which is of course high in carbs, but I absolutely love pasta and the fresh Mediterranean tastes associated with Italian food.

My bolognaise recipe has been developed over years- it started based on my mom’s recipe, but has grown to include friends’ recipes based on what their mothers or grans used to do.  This is my fail safe recipe and is my boyfriend’s favourite type of food. The trick for me lies in how long I cook the bolognaise sauce (the longer the better!), and the addition of red wine. This is a rich, meaty sauce that is filled with fresh flavours and can be served with pasta or rice, or used for lasagne or cannelloni.

This recipe gives four large portions:

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

400 grams lean beef mince

50 grams diced, smoked bacon

1 carrot, finely grated

1 tin tomato paste (70 grams)

1 can cherry tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 cup wine

3/4 cup water

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped basil

1 tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5-8 minutes. Add the bacon and brown.  Now add the mince and brown.  Add the tomato paste and carrot and mix well. Add the canned tomato, wine, water and oregano.  Turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 40 minutes to an hour or until most of the fluid has reduced and thickened. Add all of the fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from the heat.

Prepare pasta of your choice according to the instructions and serve with the bolognaise sauce and a fresh green salad on the side. The spaghetti bolognaise featured here was also served with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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