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Tagliatelle alla bolognese

I’m the first to admit that traditional isn’t my forte and I’m something of a Magpie when it comes to cooking.  But it seems that everyone’s up in arms right now and after the furore over Jamie Oliver’s paella recipe, the latest bone of contention is the humble spaghetti Bolognese.

Apparently, everyone outside of Italy is doing it wrong, mainly by over-complicating the dish.  The original bolognese has no garlic and no herbs, two of the key ingredients of most non-Italian versions.  Similarly, it should never be served with spaghetti (so, in fact, there’s no such dish as spaghetti bolognese, which was a big surprise for me!)

This is a recent discovery for me and so I was eager to see what I thought of the proper version!  I like to make a big batch bolognese and thought I’d do the same with this recipe.  It took in every ounce of willpower not to sneak in a garlic clove or to go extra heavy on the salt, but astonishingly this was soooo good!  My daughter ended up having four portions!

There’s enough here to make at least 8 portions.


Bolognese Sauce
To serve


Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, carrots and celery for about 10 minutes.

Add the beef and pork and break up with a wooden spoon and combine with the vegetables.  Brown the meat for about five minutes.

Add the tomato purée and mix in well and sauté for another minute, before adding the wine, milk and 8¾ fluid ounces / 250ml of the beef stock.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours, adding a splash of the remaining beef stock as and when necessary just to keep it from going dry.

Once cooked, season with salt and pepper and serve with tagliatelle and a generous (I’d even say very generous) amount of parmesan on top.