Perfectly simple bolognese

Serves: 4 people
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 2 hours

This is a super simple bolognese recipe that has stemmed from learning a couple different recipes and techniques and refining them into one that I’m pretty confident will satisfy most people and their Italian nonna. 

Ingredients:

  • 500g grass-fed beef mince
  • 100g bacon (diced)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 large carrot (grated)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tin of peeled, whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato purée 
  • 3 Sprigs of rosemary (leaves roughly chopped)
  • 150g baby spinach (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

First, in a large, heavy pot, sauté the onion, garlic, rosemary and bacon in olive oil on low-medium heat then take a second to appreciate the smell. Add mince to pot with plenty of salt and pepper and turn up the heat to medium, breaking up the mince and browning it. Let the mince cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid at the bottom of the pot has boiled off. 

Add the two tablespoons of tomato purée to the pot and stir through, making sure it coats everything and cook for a few minutes. Add and combine the grated carrot and let that cook for another few minutes. Add the tin of tomatoes and stir through. Fill the now empty tin with hot tap water and add it to the pot. Fill the tin to halfway with hot tap water and add it to the pot. At this point it’ll look pretty soupy, but most of that liquid is going to boil off and leave only flavor behind. 

Give the sauce a good stir through and bring it to a simmer. Leave the pot to simmer for about one and a half hours, or until the liquid has reduced to a point that you’re happy with the consistency, stirring every 15-20 minutes. If you want to be a bit healthier and get some green into your meal, add a couple handfuls of baby spinach and stir them through the sauce until they've wilted.

Serve on spaghetti or linguini with some freshly cracked pepper and freshly grated parmesan. Or, use as a sauce for lasagna.

Have any suggestions for how to improve the recipe, or just want to hurl insults at me? Leave them in the comments below.

Cape Town based creative and strategist in the advertising industry. I love food, cycling, running, adventure, and my family. Things I write about: food, travel, technology and some personal stuff.