Loved the world over, spaghetti bolognese has got to be the one dish that almost everyone has made. Like everyone else, l have my own version, which uses spices that give it a ‘Greek edge’. It’s rich, thick and has a lovely intense flavour, making it a really good bolognese sauce!
What makes my bolognese sauce really good?
- Beef bouillon cubes/beef stock cubes. Even though bouillon cubes are not typically used in a Greek style bolognese sauce, l add them because they give the sauce a deeper, more intense flavour.
- Sugar. Depending on the sweetness of your tinned tomatoes, adding a little sugar can make a difference. Of late, l’ve been buying an imported brand called Mutti. The tomatoes are sweeter than other brands l’ve used which is why l’ve added only 1 tsp sugar to the sauce. Depending on which brand you buy, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you add.
- Spices. It amazes me how even the tiniest amount of an ingredient can add so much flavour to a dish. A pinch of cinnamon or allspice and your kitchen will be filled with their aroma. These spices are what give my bolognese it’s ‘Greek edge’.
- Red Wine Vinegar. For added flavour, l use a couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar. I wouldn’t make a bolognese sauce without it.
It’s these above ingredients that work together so well that make a really good bolognese sauce; just don’t wear white while you’re eating it.
Preparation Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Serves: 5-6
- 500 g/1 lb beef mince/ground beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 x 400 g/14 oz cans crushed or chopped tomatoes (note 1)
- 1/2 cup of water or stock (any type)
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 beef boullion/stock cubes, crumbled
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of cinnamon or allspice (you can add both)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- salt, pepper
- Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add the onion. Saute until soft (5 – 7 mins). Add the garlic and saute for a further 30 secs.
- Turn the heat up to high. Add the beef. Saute until brown all over and most of the liquid has evaporated. Use a fork or wooden spoon to break up any clumps.
- Add the tomato paste. Stir until the beef is well coated.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the salt and pepper).
- Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 30 minutes covered, until the meat is tender and the sauce has reduced (note 2).
- Have a taste! Add salt and pepper as needed. Pour ladlefuls of bolognese sauce over pasta. Toss.
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan and enjoy!
- Alternatively you can use passata (tomato puree).
- I have suggested 30 minutes cooking time for a quick mid week meal. If time permits, 1 hour of simmering time would give you meat that is even more tender and a sauce that has an even more intense flavour. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add more water or stock. For an even thicker sauce, simmer uncovered.