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“Nattu’s Bolognese Sauce”

This is my favorite way of cooking the classic Italian recipe. It is also my daughter’s favorite. It takes time to cook a good Bolognese sauce. Make sure the onion, carrot and celery is finely chopped. Then cook until caramelized and golden. After that let the meat sauce simmer on low heat for a good hour or so for the flavors to develop.

The rich, thick sauce is perfect to serve with your desired pasta, such as spaghetti, linguine, or tagliatelle.  You can use this sauce for lasagna too. You can double the quantities and then freeze half to use it later. I always keep a few bags in the freezer.

Preparation time: 10-15 minute

Total cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (195g)
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed, finely chopped (50g)
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped (90g)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 bottle tomato puree (passata 700g ) or 2 x 400g can peeled  tomatoes (crushed with a fork or pulsed)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoon milk (optional)

Method

  • Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and stock cube
  • Cook the onion, celery, carrot until softened and starting to turn caramelized and golden. This will usually take about 15-20 minutes, which is a bit long, but I feel this step makes the sauce, sweet and well-rounded in the end.
  • Add the crushed garlic, cook for a minute or so. Then add the mince.
  • Cook the mince, while stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon to ensure that there are no big chunks of mince left. Keep on cooking until the meat is browned all over.
  • Add the tomato paste and salt and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Then add the passata (tomato puree) or the crushed peeled tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano and milk.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for an hour and 15 minutes giving it a stir from time to time, until you have a rich, thick sauce.
  • Check for seasoning and take off heat.
  • Serve with your favorite pasta or make lasagna. Or when cooled, portion the amount you need into ziplock bags and freeze them. They will come handy when you need to cook dinner in a hurry.
  • If you make the recipe, please share it by tagging @nattulicious on Instagram. Please leave a comment too if you like the recipe. I would love to hear from you.

Words & Photos by Aishath Nashida (Nattu)

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