Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise is never served with spaghetti in our house.  It started off being served with tiny pasta shapes, crushed pasta, or even pasta twirls put through the food processor when the kids were very small and Princess was fussy about texture.  And until recently it was always served with pasta twirls because the children found them easy to stab with a fork, and not wear them on their fingers like Edward Scissorhands as Big Boy does with penne.  But before Christmas I made a radical change and served it with 'noodle pasta' or tagliatelle which was well received.  So today I upped the ante and went for fresh tagliatelle with spinach.  To my surprise there were no comments about the colour of the pasta, and they proved to be skilled twiddlers with just a fork.  Such budding foodie talent.

Bolognaise Sauce
500g lean beef mince
100g lambs or chicken liver (optional)
1 large onion
1 stick of celery
1 large carrot
1 large clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 glass red wine or water

Liver seems to be a modern traditional ingredient in many spag bol's.  I add it because it is a great source of iron for the kids plus it add another layer of flavour.  Finely diced and covered in a rich tomato sauce the children don't seem to notice.  But if you don't like handling it you could always puree it with the tomatoes.  The liver and tomato cocktail looks disgusting but it cooks down just fine!

Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Finely dice the  carrot and celery and add these when diced. Stir and put a lid/plate on for a few minutes to let the vegetables sweat. Add the mince, then finely chop the liver if using and not pureeing and add this. Stir and break the meat up for a few minutes and then cover again over a low heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Break the meat up again then add the tomatoes pureed with a stick blender and the wine or water.  Stir and cover, leaving to simmer for 30 minutes.  After about 20 minutes check to seee if it is not drying out.  If too watery, take the lid off and simmer for 10 minutes whilst you cook the pasta.

Serve over any shape pasta with parmesan cheese if you have it. Or cheddar.


  1. I like liver in my bolognese, and I've been making it that way for 30 years(!). I think the original recipe I used probably came from Jocasta Innes 'the Pauper's cookbook' which I had as a student...and I suspect my flatmate's dad who was quite foodie got us adding in the liver. I also put in a bit of chopped up bacon or pancetta...same reason. And a lot more wine... otherwise, much like your recipe

  2. I did google to check my facts about liver and came across this article from The Daily Telegraph

    I do, however, resolve to make a proper slow cooked ragu one day