Spaghetti Bolognese is a staple dish for so many people and having watched both of my parents cook it multiple times over my eighteen years at home, I seem to have absorbed their recipe. It is a great one pot dish, making for minimal washing up, and the Bolognese itself is so versatile.
If you make a big batch (which is what I’d recommend), you can freeze leftovers in portions and have it with a jacket potato, in a lasagne or pasta bake or just with some salad and grains. Even better than that, is how versatile the actual Bolognese can be. Here are three variations of a classic Bolognese sauce to meet your dietary requirements!
For all of these recipes you are going to need:
1 large onion
3 medium/ 2 large garlic cloves (depending on how garlicky you like things!)
Mushrooms (however many you like)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
Then pick your main addition to the sauce:
Any vegetables/beans. My faves are courgette, aubergine, carrot and spinach but you could use any vegetables of your choice.
Mince – beef, for a classic meaty Bolognese, turkey for something slightly leaner, or quorn mince for those who may be vegetarian or simply prefer it to meat!
- Heat some oil in a large saucepan and add a little bit of salt and pepper. Throughout the cooking process, make sure you taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the onions and leave to cook and soften for a few minutes, then add the garlic – be sure not to let the garlic or onions burn, and turn the heat down if they get close.
- Add the meat/vegetables/Quorn along with the mushrooms and fresh tomatoes.
* If you’re using meat – cook it until it looks like it’s cooked through, and make sure you’re breaking the meat up as you go along so as not to end up with a clumpy Bolognese! (For those of you out there who like a clumpy Bolognese…be my guest)
3. Add chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree if you want a richer taste, and let it simmer for a while.
(In the meantime, have a taste and see if you want or need to add any more salt or pepper!)
4. The next step is to make a small concoction using boiling water, a beef or vegetable stock cube and some oregano, just to add a bit more depth to the flavour of the Bolognese! Add this concoction into the pan, give it a stir and leave it to simmer and thicken.
5. Once the Bolognese seems to be at eating consistency (whatever takes your fancy), it is ready to come off the heat until you want to use it. At this point, start boiling your pasta in boiling water and put your meal together however you may like!
6. Keep the leftovers in a Tupperware or freezer bag and pop away in the freezer for whenever you want to use it next!
This versatile bolognese is ideal for a dinner party with friends and can cater for meat lovers and vegans alike with the alteration of a few ingredients. Ensure that the sauce is thoroughly reheated before consumption if you decide to freeze it.
Image Credit: Monika1607 via Pixabay