I have a friend, an Italian friend. In fact, she’s as authentically Italian as you can get. She came from a town in Italy on the heel of the boot. Have a look on a map for the location of a place called ‘Brindisi’, that’s where she was born. In fact, it looks so beautiful there that at some point in my life, I’d like to go there.
So I felt it to be very important, a couple of years back, to ask her a most intelligent question about Italy’s
architecture and culture, recipe for spaghetti bolognese. “It’s all to do with slow cooking,” she said, “And celery, you must use celery, and a little red wine”. So I took her recommendations, took notes, thankfully kept them, and tried it for the first time the other day; and I must confess it was quite glorious.
Please try this, I think you’ll be impressed with the result x
2 tbls oil
4 rashers of streaky bacon or pancetta chopped
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
1 carrot, grated
half a stick of celery sliced
1kg lean minced beef
1 glass of red wine
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
I beef stock cube
4 oz of tagliatelle or spaghetti per person
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the minced beef. Take off the heat when browned and drain away the fat, and leave to the side. Add garlic, bacon, celery, carrots and onions to the empty pan, and fry until soft. Now pop back in the beef, add the wine, and boil until it has reduced in volume slightly. Add the tins of tomatoes, beef stock cube and bay leaves. Cook on a low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve with….. actually it should be a pasta that holds the sauce, such as tagliatelle, but spaghetti will suffice. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cheese if fancied.
You will find this dish delectable, I promise!