Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 2 People

  1. Chop 2 medium onions (or one large onion). Peel & finely chop 3 cloves of garlic . Slice 1 rasher of smoked bacon (optional). Wash & slice about 3 medium-sized mushrooms.
  2. Start heating water for the pasta.
  3. Fry the onions, garlic, & bacon in about 2 tablespoon of oil (preferably olive oil), plus about half a level teaspoon of basil and a quarter of a level teaspoon of marjoram or oregano (you can also add a quarter of a level teaspoon of thyme), on a medium heat. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Once the water starts boiling, add the pasta. Note the time that you put it in, and note the cooking time recommended on the packet (if there is a range of times, choose the shorter time). Once the pan comes back to the boil, you will need to turn down the heat so that it doesn’t boil over.
  5. Once the onions are fairly well cooked, add 6 ounces (0.2 Kg) of minced beef to the pan. Continue frying the mixture, using the spatula or wooden spoon to break up the lumps of meat, until the meat is lightly browned (another 3 to 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and fry for about another minute, stirring.
  6. Add a tin of tomatoes (if they are not chopped tomatoes, then chop them when they are in the pan, using the spatula or wooden spoon as a mini chopping board in the pan). Add about 1 glass of red wine . Stir and cook the mixture. Reduce the heat when it starts to boil, so that it is just gently simmering.
  7. Add and stir in some tomato purée to thicken the sauce (probably about 1 to 2 tablespoons), until it is the consistency that you want. If it gets too thick, add more wine, if it is too runny, add more purée. [If you don't have purée, then don't add so much wine – just enough to get the right consistency.] The sauce is now ready to eat – you can take it off the heat – you can always re-heat it before serving, if it cools too much.
  8. Although not really Italian, I usually add about half a teaspoon of Sambal Oelek (a paste of chopped chili in oil - available from most Asian shops). It makes it a little spicy, and brings out the flavour of the other ingredients.
  9. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, and then add a knob of butter and stir it gently until the butter melts.
  10. Serve the pasta onto plates or bowls, and pour the sauce over the top. If possible, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top (other cheese is OK if you don’t have parmesan).