Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Real Deal

When I go to bed at night, my brain often churns my thoughts through. Filing the actions of the day I suppose and planning for the next. Strangely last night I was thinking of recipes. In particular, Spaghetti Bolognese. Weird you might think? Odd perhaps? Not for me, this often happens. I'll start thinking of the ingredients and ways to adapt and improve. A bit like my quest to find the perfect, melt in your mouth meatball. My Spag Bol recipe has been adapted and improved over time and has recently had a 1/2 cup of red wine added to give it more depth of flavour. It's yum! But as I lay in bed, I thought about how the Italians would do it. Probably vastly different from what the rest of the world do I thought.

Then a strange thing happens. I sat down 1/2 an hour ago and looked at the BBC News Website, which isn't an unusual thing to do whilst eating lunch. I saw the headline and watched this. Italian Chefs campaign for better Bolognese. Often these things happen to me. I'll dream of something or think of it then it crops up somewhere over the next day or so. I don't understand it myself, i just know it happens.

Back to the Bolognese. I was stunned to see that the authentic stuff has white wine and milk in it - milk! And that they serve it with Tagliatelle, not Spaghetti. When working I used to do the good old brown mince and chuck over a jar of dolmio. Being a stay at home Mum and Domestic Goddess in training, my glorious homemade version has the following...
Minced beef, onion, garlic, stock, tinned tomatoes and basil,, carrot, courgettes (for our 5+ a day), a dash of balsamic vinegar, sugar, red wine, salt and pepper.

I'm tempted to try an authentic recipe now just to compare. Hopefully then I could gloat that I like mine better - but then I'd have to come up with another name for it as Bolognese wouldn't fit.

What do you put in yours?


  1. Funnily enough I just heard this week on a programme about the milk and the tagliatelli. Strange, look forward to you telling us how the tasting goes.

  2. Never have made this recipe myself. :)

  3. I pretty much do as you - including the balsamic vinegar (but right towards the end.

    Now, my mum is of the meat+dolmio=bolognese school of thought, but the one thing she DOES say is that it takes ages to cook - not your 45 mins on a good day, 20 on a bad, thing. No, 2-3 HOURS of simmering (although, I have to confess, why would you simmer for that long a bottle of dolmio?)

    When I have made bolognese at lunchtime for dinner that night, I leave it to simmer in aheavy bottomed pan, all afternoon. It does taste so much better when it has been cooking all that time, and if it is getting a wee bit dry, just add half a cup of water.

    Try it - if you think about it early enough in the day!

    How was Antz' birthday? William was 1 on the same day!


  4. Alex, must try the long simmering thing, see if there's an improvement. Next days leftovers also taste better. Funny story about your mums method :) made me smile.

    Antz had a lovely birthday thanks, how was Williams? Hope you're all staying warm. xx


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