Spaghetti Bolognese (or “Spag Bol” as it has affectionately been named in the UK) has been the staple of dinners to many around the world. Turns out that we’ve all been doing it wrong, according to Italian chefs. They also claim that us Brits managed to corrupt lasagne, amongst other Italian dishes they hold dear.
Italian Gourmands insist that the popular dish’s “simplicity” is highly deceptive, losing the will to live when they see the likes of chicken or turkey used as a supplement for the majorly important minced beef. When it comes to doing it the “correct” way, many traditional ingredients are supposed to be used. The likes of pancetta, carrots, celery, onions, tomato paste and a dash of wine should all be present.
They argue that foreigners get the recipe wrong from the very start by using spaghetti instead of tagliatelle. Quite unfair to throw the blame, considering that when Spag Bol was becoming a regular dish in the 70s, tagliatelle wasn’t easy to get hold of.
Because of this uproar, here is an Italian snob-approved recipe for traditional spaghetti bolognese, so every time you whip yourself a dish from now on, you’ll be glad to know that you’re doing the right thing.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 rashers of streaky ‘pancetta’ bacon, chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 carrots, chopped
- Stick of celery
- 1kg lean minced beef
- 2 large glasses of red wine
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 800g-1kg dried tagliatelle
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve
1) Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the bacon until golden over a medium heat.
2) Add the onions and garlic, frying until softened.
3) Increase the heat and add the minced beef. Fry it until it has browned.
4) Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced in volume by about a third.
5) Reduce the temperature and stir in the tomatoes and celery.
6) Cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 1-1½ hours until it’s rich and thickened, stirring occasionally.
7) Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
8) Drain and divide between plates.
9) Sprinkle a little parmesan over the pasta before adding a good ladleful of the sauce.
10) Finish with a further scattering of cheese and a twist of black pepper.