Bolognese Sauce
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This Bolognese sauce can be adapted to make lasagne, chili con carne, or with vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers

Bolognese sauce is a sauce made with meat that is then mixed with pasta before eating. It is called Ragù alla bolognese in Italy. The sauce came from Bologna in Italy. Most Italian people eat their Bolognese sauce with tagliatelle, a broad, flat type of pasta. It can also be served with ribbon or tube-shaped pasta.

The recipe must only be made of beef, pancetta,  onions,  carrots,  celery,  tomato paste, meat broth, red wine, and milk or cream.

Spaghetti Bolognese is popular outside of Italy where the sauce is put on a plate of spaghetti with a little bit of grated cheese put on. In China, Bolognese sauce is served with noodles and it is called Chinese spaghetti.

However, these different ways of making the recipe are never eaten in Bologna. They do use the recipe together with béchamel sauce to make lasagna.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into pea-sized pieces
  • 300g/10½oz lean beef mince
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 50ml/2fl oz boiling water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • 300g/10½oz uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Put the chopped onion, garlic and carrot into a large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add the mince and mix together with a fork, breaking up the meat until it is well combined.
  3. Cover the bowl with a microwaveable lid or cling film, leaving a small area open, and microwave on full power for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the bowl. Stir with the fork, breaking up the mince again, cover and return to the microwave for another 3 minutes.
  5. Take care when removing the bowl as it will be very hot.
  6. Break up any clumps of mince again.
  7. Stir in the chopped tomatoes to the bowl together with 50ml/2fl oz of boiling water, and crumble over the stock cube, oregano and black pepper (if using).
  8. Cover again and cook in the microwave on full power for 7 minutes. Remove the bowl, stir well, cover and return to the microwave for another 10 minutes on full power, stirring halfway through.
  9. Remove the bowl and leave to stand.
  10. Break the spaghetti into thirds and put it into a separate microwave-safe bowl.
  11. Add the oil and mix well to coat the spaghetti with oil.
  12. Pour over boiling water until just covered and stir well.
  13. Put into the microwave and cook on full power for 4 minutes.
  14. Remove the bowl and stir the spaghetti.
  15. Cover and return to the microwave and cook on full power for another 4 minutes.
  16. Take the bowl out of the microwave and leave to stand for 2 minutes.
  17. Check that the spaghetti is cooked and is al dente.
  18. Cook for another couple of minutes if it’s not soft enough.
  19. Drain the cooked spaghetti and serve with the bolognese sauce.

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