How To Make Bolognese Sauce
PUT DOWN THE DOLMIO
Put down that jar of Dolmio and save those pennies, make your own bolognese sauce. grab a tin of basic tomatoes (35p). An onion along with some store-cupboard essentials its far to expensive in the first place plus its full of other things, you can make a simple delicious tasty sauce for less than 49p. Let me show you how to make a bolognese sauce.
Bolognese sauce or ragu what ever you call it its the base sauce for so many things. With this base sauce you can make many a wonderful dish with just a few key essential ingredients.
- 1 onion
- Olive oil
- Garlic (as many cloves as you like)
- Tin of tomatoes
- Herbs ( oregano, basil, parsley )
- salt n pepper
- 500g of pork 500g of beef minced.
- Red wine (half a glass)Don’t forget this as it does make a difference
HOW TO MAKE BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Finely chop the onion and garlic then fry in the the olive oil and once sweated down a little add the tin of tomatoes. Then add the herbs salt and pepper and the half a glass of wine. Allow to cook down and reduce for at least an hour. The longer you leave it to reduce the more the taste develops. Double, triple quadruple the quantities as its perfect for freezing and the great thing is when you reheat the flavour is more intensified. So make a big batch for midweek meals (you can cook it from frozen, place in saucepan and gently simmer to thoroughly heated through.)
There are so many ways that you can add extra flavour, add chorizo to the onion whilst sweating them imparts fantastic flavour. Add a squirt of tomato puree to add a little richness. One thing you can add at the very start of the cooking process is 3 or 4 anchovies. I know what your thinking, fish in your sauce but actually it has a great salt content and flavour and once it has cooked out you will not be able to taste the fish. (I promise) There is the purist out there who insist that you should start of by sweating off a mirepoix which is Onion, Carrot and Celery. Do you really need all that, No I Don’t think so. Try adding a little thyme which adds a different dimension. One of our favorites is to add a big teaspoon of lazy garlic.
HOW TO MAKE BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Lets start with the more common dish, it doesn’t mean that they are any less tasty, the staple of midweek tasty dishes
How To Make Bolognese Sauce :Spaghetti Bolognese
What to use in your bolognese, Beef ! just beef or do you go half and half, if you haven’t tried it or even heard of it then try it with 50% beef and 50% pork mince. It does add a different taste as the pork mince contains quite a bit of fat and there is always flavour in fat. Spaghetti Bolognese is the classic dish that every man, woman, nan, auntie and household has their very own version of. Of course our own version is the best.
The reason it is the best is because of the versatility of the recipe, you can add more of what you like. You can take away what you dont and then add your very own twist. We do like to add either soya sauce or Worcester sauce to our mince as it cooks. Deep deep flavour, it depends what we have in the fridge as any leftovers get chucked in. Some recipes call for chunky chuck beef (well the Welsh Italians do from my experience)
THE PASTA, well its your choice, does the expensive designer pasta taste better ? not really the basic pasta cooked in salted boiling water is just as good, it is well worth investing in you own pasta maker machine. Flour, eggs water and a little work gets you fresh pasta and the kids can help to.
Dont forget the parmesan cheese and try to get the real stuff, use less and grate fresh when you need it as it taste so much better. Make sure you have some leftover bolognese mix and then you can add a few tortilla chips and cheese for a late night snack. (buy the basic tortilla chips, a big bag for 50p)
How To Make Bolognese Sauce :Lasagne
The very same mix of mince as you use for your bolognese, it even has the very same pasta in the dish, ok its a different shape but its still pasta, the additions to this classic are white sauce and extra cheese on top, you can of course add extra vegetables (courgettes, carrot, peppers and mushrooms to bulk out the dish) The White Sauce just have a go at it rather than buy that nasty jar (yuck). You can add a tablespoon of mustard powder to the white sauce mix as it gives it a nice edge to the taste and an amazing colour to the sauce.
What ever you do don’t forget to add your favourite cheese to the top, add a little parmesan if you can. I use the very end bits of the parmesan cheese, the bit thats a little to hard to grate. Slice very finely with a sharp knife and once its melted and cooked it tastes lush.
Just add pasta any pasta and I mean any pasta. The kids love it, the basic sauce on pasta, spaghetti, tagliatelle, fusilli,Fettuccine and then the ravioli pasta we usually get from Aldi for a pound. It takes about 10 mins to make. Boil kettle, place boiling water in a hot saucepan (put the pan on the heat while the kettle boils) add salt, add pasta, at the same time you put the kettle on put your ragu sauce from the freezer into a pan on a medium heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain and then add to the pan with the sauce is cooking. Tip onto a warm plate add black pepper and parmesan, simple done tasty.
How To Make Bolognese Sauce : Chicken Chasseur
This is a slight cheat version but all you need to do is add the basic sauce to a cast iron pot roast (I got mine reduced from Sainsbury’s) then add the chicken, add your choice of veg, then an extra glass of red wine and about 500ml of chicken stock. Place in the oven for about 4 hours on a low heat. Bread ! Wine! sofa! TV! Relax!
How To Make Bolognese Sauce : Basic Sausage in Ragu
A very simple recipe if you can call it a recipe, get some basic sausages in a casserole dish add you basic ragu sauce and cook in the oven for about 40 minutes, the flavour of the sauce is absorbed by the sausage. Add vegetables to bulk out (Potatoes, carrot, halved onions, anything you have in the house). Its also great with the shop bought basic Yorkshire puddings
Sausage buying tips
Always and I mean always check the meat content of the sausage you are buying, some of the better know sausages have less meat content than the supermarkets basic range. Ideally your sausages need to have at least 70% meat, For example did you know that Richmond Sausages (£1.99) have less than 50% meat in their ingredients. It is actually only 42% meat and the rest is not really listed so it cant be good. Tesco’s everyday value range has 50% meat in them and they are only 66p so alwaysCheck The Ingredients and then do the math
How To Make Bolognese Sauce : Bouillabaisse
Well I wouldn’t go that far its basically poached fish with extra garlic. The first time we tried it, it was a bit of an experiment but looking back the classic recipe is of course bouillabaisse. We usually get a reduce fish pie mix (Morrisons), bang it in the oven for about 40 minutes and then serve with some crusty bread and you cant go wrong. Well so far so good.
How To Make Bolognese Sauce : Meatballs
Of course a twist on the spaghetti bolognese but rather than add all the herbs into the sauce add them to the meat then shape them into small balls and then cook them in the bolognese / Ragu sauce
How To Make Bolognese Sauce :Pizza Pie
The basic bolognese sauce is also great for using as your base sauce on your pizza pie, we just add a sprinkling of oregano on top. I will rewrite my pizza pie recipe as its a great dish for kids to help make as well as they tend to eat it all. I just use the basic bread recipe, this is my sun-dried tomato bread so just exclude the tomatoes .
Bolognese sauce is so versatile and with the a few twists and tweaks you can use it any dish, use it to be the base of the dish or just add a little to add a different dimension.
What do you use your Bolognese sauce for ?
looking for a full Italian Meal Idea
Freezing The Bolognese Sauce
People often ask if you can freeze the Bolognese sauce, my answer is of course you can freeze the sauce. This s one of my perfect midweek cheats when. have the kids. The great thing about frozen Bolognese is that even if I have forgotten to take it out of the freezer I can still cook it in 20 minutes.
I usually make enough for about 4 or 5 batches, 1 for the actual day and then the others I place in freezer bags and flatten them out so its easier to freeze. In a rush to make dinner, get a pan of water on the boil and then get the bolognese out of the freezer. Empty the Bolognese into a pan and put on a very low heat and occasionally stir until it breaks down. One the water is boiling put your pasta, trust me by the time the pasta is cooked the Bolognese sauce will be cooked through. Now turn the heat up a little more and keep stirring, 20 mins and dinner is done and you have spaghetti Bolognese.
Yes it is perfect for freezing, ideally freeze flat in freezer bags and then you can store more in each drawer
The meat Bolognese sauce will happily sit in the freezer for up to 3 months
It takes around 20 mins to cook the meat Bolognese from frozen