Probably the most famous Italian pasta sauce, bolognase is a rich combination of meat, vegetables, herbs and red wine, simmered until tender and served with freshly cooked spaghetti.
55g/2oz streaky bacon, diced
120ml/4fl oz good olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed with a little salt
1 tsp soft fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1½ tsp anchovy essence
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
900g/2lb minced beef
110g/4oz fresh chicken livers, finely chopped
750ml/1¼ pints dry red wine
450g/1lb dried spaghetti
salt and ground black pepper
In a large, heavy-based pan, fry the bacon in 2 tbsp of the olive oil. When the bacon is crispy and has released some natural fats, add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and oregano and cook over a medium heat until the vegetables have softened and taken on a little colour.
Add the canned tomatoes, the tomato purée, anchovy essence and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat another 2 tbsp of the olive oil and fry the mince in small batches until browned. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Repeat until all the mince is browned. Drain off any fat and add to the tomato mixture.
Add 2 tbsp of the oil to the same frying pan, fry the chicken livers until brown and crusty and add the livers to the meat. Deglaze the frying pan with some of the red wine, scraping any crusty bits from the bottom. Pour this wine, the remaining wine and the stock into the tomato and meat mixture. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, for about 2 hours. Season to taste. If the liquid reduces too much, top up with water. When the meat is tender allow to cool, then chill.
When cold, lift off the solidified fat and discard.
Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling water with the remaining olive oil and heat the sauce. When the pasta is cooked and the sauce heated through, divide the pasta among six dishes and serve the sauce on top.
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