In Italian cuisine Bolognese sauce is known as ragù alla Bolognese, a meat-based sauce originating from, you guessed it, Bologna, in Italy.
A traditional version of the sauce includes onion, celery, and carrot, different types of minced or chopped beef, and sometimes small amounts of fatty pork, red wine, tomato concentrate and/or ripe tomatoes.
On my travels around Sydney, I didn’t find anyone serving a version of Bolognese sauce that contained all the above ingredients.
Here is my version – it contains beef, bacon, carrot, onion, garlic, tomato and tomato concentrate. Yes, I skipped the celery and red wine, because I was happy with my version. Better than red wine is in a glass in your hand to toast the meal than in the sauce!
Instead of using freshly grated parmesan cheese, I use feta cheese, but you can grate fresh parmesan cheese over the top if you like. I didn’t use celery in this sauce as – personal preference – I don’t like adding that texture in this recipe.
Buon Appetito! And I hope you enjoy my version… sans the celery
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 brown onion, finely diced
8 grape tomatoes cut in half, then into thirds
5T Chicken stock
1 lean rasher of bacon
500g lean beef mince
4T (heaped) of tomato paste
400g can of whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
100g piece of full cream feta cheese
Half a packet of spaghettini (durum wheat)
1-2 cloves garlic, grated
Heat 1T of butter and 1T of oil and cook diced carrot and onion over a medium heat, for 15-20mins, stirring continuously.
Add the grape tomato chunks and cook for a further 10 mins on a medium heat. Then add canned tomatoes and 3T of chicken stock, and simmer until the carrot is almost tender, then take off heat.
In another pan, cook diced bacon in 1T oil until browned. Add to the onion mix.
Cook the beef mince over a medium heat in 1T oil until browned and almost cooked. Add the can of peeled tomatoes, then add 4 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste, and simmer for 20 mins on a medium-high setting. Turn off heat. Season lightly with salt and ground black pepper.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat water to a boil and then add the spaghettini and cook until the pasta is cooked al dente, then drain.
Combine the carrot and meat mixtures together in a large saucepan, and reheat, simmering for 15-20 mins. Add 1T of chicken stock if needed to prevent the mixture sticking to the pan. When cooked, crumble handful of feta cheese into the meat mixture and stir through.
Divide the spaghettini into bowls. Add the hot Bolognese mixture over the top and sprinkle with more crumbled feta cheese and mix through.
Feta cheese is very salty, so taste before adding more salt and pepper.
Serve with a green salad.