Spag Bol, as it’s commonly known here, is a classic. It’s simple, and everyone loves it. I’ve often heard Gino D’acampo say that in Italy, you won’t have spaghetti with bolognese – but since I can’t seem to get gluten free tagliatelle, or fettuccine, gluten free spaghetti will have to do. And it does, quite nicely!
Truthfully, I had never eaten spaghetti bolognese until I met B 7 years ago, and then, it meant frying some beef mince and onion, stirring in a jar of sauce, and putting it on some spaghetti. If that sounds like your version, next time you’re at the shop, instead of buying that jar of ‘sauce’, just pick up a carton of tomato passata. It couldn’t be simpler to make it from scratch, and surely far cheaper than buying a gluten free sauce.
I’ve been off work for a little while with a bad foot, so I seem to have watched a lot of daytime TV, and have picked up some tips too. Gino alwas says that you never put the sauce on top of the pasta; you always put the pasta into the sauce. This might well be common knowledge, but it’s not the way I used to do it, and it seems to make on hell of a difference! Anyway, I know most people have their own recipe for this family favourite, but incase, like me, you’d always made it using a jar of sauce, here’s my ridiculously easy yet amazingly tasty version of ‘Spag Bol”…
250g lean beef mince
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 mini portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and pressed / finely chopped
500g tomato passata (sieved tomatoes, from a carton)
1 whole dried bay leaf
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp each of dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley
250g gluten free spaghetti (I used corn)
- In a large saucepan, add about 1tbsp olive oil to the mince, and break it up with the back of a spoon, while on a low heat
- Once the mince has started to brown, add the onion, mushrooms and red pepper
- Once the veggies have softened and the mince is pretty much cooked, add the garlic and stir through
- Now add the passata, and turn up the heat to bring it to a simmer
- Mix in the black pepper, oregano and basil, and bury the bayleaf, whole, in the sauce
- Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes (add the parsley in for the last 5 minutes of cooking)
- Meanwhile put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta (I don’t salt my water; I don’t see the need, but do so if you must)
- Put your spaghetti into the boiling water, and cook for 8-9 minutes, until it is ‘al dente’ – cooked but firm
- Drain your spaghetti, and put it into your bolognese sauce, mixing well
- Give your spaghetti about a minute to soak up some sauce, then serve and enjoy!
Easy! So that’s how I do it. I get 3 good servings from this, so it feeds me and B, with leftovers for his lunch tomorrow. I use dried herbs, but if you have fresh to hand then use those instead. One day I’ll have a little herb garden up and running, but until then, my dried herbs will serve me well.