Isn’t curious that half the world eats Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, except the Italians? They think we are all crazy eating fine, delicate noodles with a thick and chunky ragú. Or even worse: with meatballs.
I admit, getting the appropriate amount of pasta and sauce into your mouth is not really easy with this combination. Either you roll the spaghetti on your fork and all the ground beef falls off. Or you try to scoop up some sauce and the long pasta strands falls of. Feel free to cook rigatoni, ruote, conchiglie or whatever you like. But I stick with Spaghetti, because nothing beats the taste of childhood memories.
PASTA ALLA BOLOGNESE
1 kg / 2 pounds ground beef
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
6 thick slices bacon, diced
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup / 250 ml red wine
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
rosemary and thyme
a splash of balsamic vinegar
125 g / 1/2 pound of your favorite pasta per person
This depends on what you like – I prefer buying grinding the meat myself. That’s because I recently had the bad luck of getting gristle and bone bits on store-bought ground beef.
Cut the onion and the bacon into chunks. No need to chop everything into tiny bits. Also, cut the carrots into cubes. I like to quarter them and cut away 5 mm thick slices.
Take your biggest and heaviest pan and heat it up on medium-high on the stove.
This one: Le Creuset. I love it.
Fry the ground meat. I like to put in half of it and then the other half. I sometimes happens if I put all in that the pan cools down too much – and that results in water being sucked out of the meat. That’s bad.
If the meat is cooked done and you see some brown bits, add the bacon, the onions and the carrots. It’s getting kinda full, but that’s OK. Let it all cook for a couple of minutes until the onions are getting soft.
Now add the tomato paste, the red wine, sugar, salt and pepper, the herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Top off with enough water to cover it all. Let it cook at least 30 minutes on medium-low and add more water if too much evaporates. Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water.
The Parmesan rinds simply the rest of your cheese pieces that not even a Microplane grater can persuade to give away tinier bits. I collect them in my fridge in a Tupperware container and they keep for ages. They not a must in this sauce, but if you cook the sauce for quite a bit (more than an hour), they will give the sauce a deep, complex flavor – just like the bay leaves. So it’s kind of a secret ingredient.
Serve the pasta along with the sauce and top it off with huge amounts of Parmesan.