Classic Spaghetti Bolognese

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Craving a comforting and delicious meal? Look no further than the classic spaghetti Bolognese. This Italian dish is a true crowd-pleaser, with its rich tomato and meat sauce that coats al dente spaghetti perfectly. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or hosting a dinner party, spaghetti Bolognese is always a hit. It’s a timeless favorite that never fails to satisfy cravings and warm hearts. So, why not whip up a batch of this classic dish and experience the joy of indulging in its mouthwatering flavors?

Ingredients

To make a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese, you will need the following ingredients:

Spaghetti

Start by gathering your ingredients, with spaghetti being the star of the dish. Choose your favorite brand or shape of spaghetti to suit your taste.

Ground beef

Lean ground beef is the traditional choice for a Bolognese sauce, as it adds richness and flavor to the dish. However, you can also use a combination of ground beef and pork for a unique twist.

Onion

Onions are a key ingredient in the Bolognese sauce, providing a savory and sweet flavor. Finely chop the onion to ensure it blends seamlessly into the sauce.

Garlic

Garlic adds a delightful aroma and depth of flavor to the Bolognese sauce. Use fresh garlic cloves and mince them for the best taste.

Carrot

Carrots are often included in Bolognese sauce to add natural sweetness and enhance the overall flavor. Grate or finely chop the carrots to incorporate them into the sauce.

Celery

Celery brings a subtle earthiness to the Bolognese sauce. Make sure to finely chop the celery to ensure it cooks evenly and blends well with the other ingredients.

Tomato paste

Tomato paste is a concentrated tomato product that adds depth and richness to the Bolognese sauce. Stir in the tomato paste to thicken the sauce and intensify the tomato flavor.

Canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes form the base of the Bolognese sauce. Opt for high-quality canned tomatoes, such as diced or crushed, to achieve a flavorful sauce.

Red wine

Red wine is a key ingredient that adds complexity and richness to the Bolognese sauce. Choose a dry red wine that you enjoy drinking, as the flavor will mingle with the other ingredients.

Beef broth

Beef broth further enhances the savory taste of the Bolognese sauce. It adds depth and richness to the dish and helps to create a velvety texture.

Italian herbs

A blend of Italian herbs, such as oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary, adds a burst of flavor to the Bolognese sauce. Use dried herbs or a combination of fresh and dried for the best results.

Salt and pepper

Season the Bolognese sauce with salt and pepper to taste. These basic seasonings bring out the flavors of the other ingredients and add balance to the dish.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch for Spaghetti Bolognese. Grate or shred Parmesan cheese and use it to garnish the final dish, adding a salty and nutty flavor.

Preparation

Cook the spaghetti

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain the cooked spaghetti and set it aside for serving.

Brown the ground beef

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Break up the meat with a spatula or spoon until it is browned and cooked through. Remove any excess grease from the skillet.

Add the vegetables

Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, grated carrot, and chopped celery to the skillet with the ground beef. Stir the mixture together and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste

Add the tomato paste to the skillet and stir it into the meat and vegetable mixture. Cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and for the tomato paste to caramelize slightly.

Pour in the canned tomatoes

Pour the canned tomatoes, including their juices, into the skillet. Stir well to combine the tomatoes with the other ingredients. This will form the base of the Bolognese sauce.

Add the red wine and beef broth

Pour in the red wine and beef broth, and stir everything together. The red wine adds richness and depth, while the beef broth enhances the savory flavor.

Season with herbs, salt, and pepper

Add the Italian herbs, salt, and pepper to the Bolognese sauce. Stir well to distribute the seasoning evenly throughout the sauce. Keep in mind that you can adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.

Simmer the sauce

Reduce the heat to low and let the Bolognese sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken slightly. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking.

Serve with spaghetti

Once the sauce has simmered to your desired consistency, it is ready to be served. Spoon the Bolognese sauce over a bed of cooked spaghetti, making sure to distribute it evenly.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese

Finish off your Spaghetti Bolognese with a generous sprinkling of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese. The cheese will melt slightly into the warm sauce, adding a deliciously salty and nutty flavor.

Classic Spaghetti Bolognese

Tips and Variations

Use a combination of ground beef and pork

For a twist on the classic recipe, consider using a combination of ground beef and pork. This adds additional richness and flavor to the Bolognese sauce.

Add bacon for extra flavor

To take your Bolognese sauce to the next level, consider adding some chopped bacon while browning the ground beef. The crispy bacon adds a smoky and savory note to the sauce.

Replace red wine with white wine or chicken broth

If you prefer not to use red wine, you can substitute it with white wine or chicken broth. White wine adds a lighter flavor, while chicken broth enhances the savory taste of the sauce.

Add mushrooms for added depth

For mushroom lovers, adding sliced or chopped mushrooms to the Bolognese sauce can be a wonderful variation. They add an earthy and meaty element to the dish.

Adjust the seasoning to taste

Feel free to adjust the seasoning of the Bolognese sauce to suit your personal taste. Add more herbs, salt, or pepper as needed to achieve the desired flavor profile.

Serve with a side salad or garlic bread

To complement your Spaghetti Bolognese, consider serving it with a side salad or garlic bread. A fresh green salad or warm garlic bread can provide a balanced and satisfying meal.

Substitute spaghetti with other pasta shapes

While spaghetti is the traditional choice for Spaghetti Bolognese, you can experiment with different pasta shapes. Rigatoni, penne, or fusilli can be equally delicious and offer a different texture to the dish.

FAQs

Can I use ground turkey instead of beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground turkey for beef if you prefer a leaner option. Ground turkey will still provide a flavorful base for the Bolognese sauce.

How long does the sauce need to simmer?

The sauce should simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. However, you can let it simmer for longer if you desire a richer and more concentrated flavor.

Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze any leftover Bolognese sauce for future use. Allow the sauce to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes?

While canned tomatoes are the traditional choice for Bolognese sauce, you can use fresh tomatoes if preferred. However, you will need to peel and seed the tomatoes before using them in the sauce. Simply blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, then plunge them into ice water to make the peeling process easier. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds before adding them to the sauce. Keep in mind that fresh tomatoes may have a higher water content, so the sauce may need longer simmering to reduce and thicken.

Classic Spaghetti Bolognese

Conclusion

Spaghetti Bolognese is a beloved Italian dish that brings comfort and flavor to any mealtime. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily recreate this classic recipe in your own kitchen. Whether you stick to the traditional ingredients or get creative with variations, Spaghetti Bolognese is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So gather your ingredients, cook up a delicious sauce, and enjoy a hearty plate of Spaghetti Bolognese with friends and family. Bon app├ętit!