Comfort food at its absolute best…
I think it’s safe to say that most people will find themselves eating for comfort at some stage in life, and one of the most popular comfort foods out there has to be pasta Bolognaise. I’ve been enjoying this Italian delicacy since I was little girl and it’s still one of the only dishes that I crave from time to time, along with macaroni cheese and lasagne, of course.
So, for all you fellow Bolognaise lovers out there – and I’m sure there are many – here is a simple and very easy-to-follow recipe that takes no longer than 20 minutes to prepare – the perfect dish to impress your dinner guests, or to enjoy alone on those precious duvet days.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 people (save half in the fridge or freezer if dining alone)
500g organic beef or lamb mince
200g dried pasta (100g each)
340g tomato passata
1 small glass red wine
1 tbsp. tomato purée
1 large white onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 carrot (diced)
5 closed cup chestnut mushrooms (diced)
50g Cheddar cheese or Parmesan (grated)
1 large knob unsalted butter
1 tsp. sugar
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 handful fresh basil (roughly torn)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Equipment: You will need two large lidded saucepans and a colander.
1. The first thing to do is bring a large pan of salted water to the boil with the lid in place. When boiling point is reached, add the pasta to the water and boil for around 15-20 minutes until soft.
2. While you’re waiting, heat 4 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onion, garlic and carrot (along with a bay leaf and a pinch of salt) until completely soft. This should take around ten minutes.
3. Add the mince and cook until browned, then add the red wine and cook on a high heat until it has fully absorbed into the meat. Next, stir in the tomato purée and continue to cook for a further minute or two before stirring in the passata along with the mushrooms. Simmer for around ten minutes, adding a few splashes of the starch water from the pasta to thicken the sauce, and then add the sugar, chopped basil and butter, with more salt if needed.
4. After around 15-20 minutes the pasta should be cooked and ready to drain, and the sauce should be thick and sumptuous. The last thing to do is combine the pasta and the sauce and stir in the last two tablespoons of oil for a lovely silky texture. Serve in large bowls with a sprinkling of grated cheese and black pepper, and garnish with a few basil leaves to finish.