Slow cooked meat sauce and pasta create a heavenly combination. Add to the mix a dark, cold Winter evening and a lovely glass of Marlborough Pinot Noir and you're onto a warming winner!
I love Spaghetti Bolognese and a really rich meat sauce but I also love my vegetables so I simply add plenty of fresh herbs and grated carrot to the meat sauce (when in season, I also add courgettes) and serve it alongside steamed greens or a lush green salad for extra nutrients.
Normally we make a large amount of Bolognese sauce and then have separate pots for our pasta (mine is gluten-free and the hubby's normal spaghetti) but last week we decided to make Gnocchi instead. For all of the My Kitchen Rules (MKR) fans out there, you would have been waiting with bated breath (like us!) for the final showdown between Will & Steve and Jac & Shaz to reveal the champion duo. The MKR fans will also be quite familier with Ash's affection for Gnocchi! It was this continued affection for Gnocchi that spurred on our 'semi-finals week' dinner a few weeks ago. With three nights a week of recorded MKR action, we couldn't not make Gnocchi (however, I'm now very pleased it's all over and I can return to my former evening life of less television!).
While not normally served with Bolognese, the fluffy mashed-potato-like balls were a lovely change and something we loved, having made it from scratch from a gluten-free recipe we learnt at a cooking school in Siena over two years ago. We also used my nifty wee ricer that I picked up at an Italian market immediately after our cooking lesson for only €10 (you can't beat an Italian market!).
This Bolognese is rich and flavoursome and makes an even more flavoursome lunch the following day either on pasta or piled onto toast with a fried egg and fresh parsley.
Hope Nutrition Spaghetti Bolognese – serves 4-6
2 Tbspn olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Iodised sea salt
Pinch chilli flakes (or one fresh red chilli, finely chopped. Leave seeds in or out depending upon preferences)
1 tsp Gregg’s Italian Herbs
2 Tbspn fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbspn fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbspn frehs parsley, chopped
500g premium beef mince
2 carrots, grated
670g of Tomato Passata
½ cup red wine
2 Tbspn tomato paste
2 Tbspn Worcestershire sauce (check gluten-free)
Gnocchi or Spaghetti – to serve (gluten-free if required)
Steamed greens or salad – to serve
Heat olive oil in a deep pan or saucepan. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add chilli flakes, dried and fresh herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown the beef for around 5-10 minutes.
Add the grated carrot, tomato passata, red wine, Worcesterhsire sauce and stir everything to combine.
Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little extra water if needed. Once ready, taste and adjust any seasonings if need be.
Cook gnocchi or spaghetti according to directions. Once cooked, drain and place in serving bowls. Top with Bolognese and grate over a little Parmesan cheese. Serve with steamed greens or salad and enjoy!
Gluten-free (check Worcestershire sauce and use gluten-free pasta)