<h1>Bolognaise sauce</h1>
        <div class="byline">I've been doing this sauce since half-way through uni (circa 1996) when I shared a flat with another student studying to be a chef. The recipe is quite different now, because I've experimented along the way as I gained confidence with throwing stuff together. This sauce takes the best part of 4 hours to make, so I usually make enough to feed an army and freeze what I don't need that day for quick and easy meals on nights when I don't feel like cooking.</div>

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 4 regular sized carrots
  • 3-5 cups of fresh mushrooms
  • At least 500g lean minced beef
  • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 12 fresh medium vine-ripened tomatoes (quartered)
  • 100g tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (to cut the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • 1 organic beef stock cube
  • 500ml boiled water
  • 400ml dry white wine
  • Fresh basil and oregano
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Gently pan-fry onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent
  • Meanwhile, dice carrots, celery and mushrooms
  • Add the beef to the pan with the onions and garlic, and gently brown it, stiring to break it up well
  • When the beef is browned, add carrots, celery and mushrooms and stir
  • Stir in the tomato puree
  • Add tinned tomatoes and chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Stir in the sugar
  • Dissolve the beef stock cube with the boiled water and add it to the pot
  • Add the wine
  • Cover and bring everything to the boil
  • Once it boils, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and start working on the rest of your menu – leave the sauce to simmer for at least 3 hours.
  • It can go all day if you keep an eye on it and keep it on a gentle simmer.</dd>
  • Before you use the sauce, rip up some fresh basil and oregano and add this to the pot. Continue simmering gently.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.