The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Ever
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The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Ever


Or so I am frequently reminded by my six year old son. What's in it, he says? Well I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you, I jest. But knowing his dislike of most of the ingredients in this recipe, I'm always amazed how he always asks for second and sometimes a third helping. 

chestnut mushrooms

The secret to this recipe is time. Yes, it takes time for the finely chopped chestnut mushrooms to loose their water content. You can actually hear the sound change in the frying pan, from a bubble, to sizzle. Then you start to see the colour change, as they turn from a washed out gray and take on a mouthwatering dark red-brown meaty appearance.

The flavour profile changes as well, changing from an insipid watery taste to a rich and deep umami .  The longer you allow the mushrooms to cook, the more intense and savory the flavors become. The addition of the onions to the frying pan, bring on their familiar character, changing from their uncooked raw acidic taste to a surprisingly sweet flavour. 

A generous amount of garlic to the pan and kitchen takes on that Mediterranean holiday smell, that you can't help, but makes you feel hungry as the aromas of garlic infused-food wafts through the air. 

Next add in the cooked dark speckled lentils, which provides the protein; each lentil containing 25% protein and a broad range of beneficial plant compounds called phytochemicals, many of which protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes^.


Of course a good quality passata is essential, as the sun-ripened tomatoes add their own sweetness and a delicate acidity to the dish. 

Melt in a vegetable stock cube to provide an additional depth of flavour and the required seasoning.   

The herbs and spices added at this point can transform the dish.

Add chopped fresh basil for that distinctive summer sweet fragrance, or transform the dish to an arrabiata sauce, with the addition of hot chilli flakes to for those that like it spicy. For the classic spaghetti bolognese, go for a good quality Italian herb blend, that will bring out the savoury notes in the dish.                                                                                         

Now its time to bring a large pan of water to a simmer, with a twist of the hand the spaghetti is evenly distributed around the pan. As the water simmers, the spaghetti slowly falls into the simmering water. While the spaghetti cooks, leave the bolognese on a low simmer, to allow the sauce to thicken and intensify the flavours. spaghetti in a pan

After 12 minutes, its time the drain the pasta. The question is, do you add the pasta to the pan and coat in the bolognese sauce or serve directly into a bowl, heaping the bolognese sauce on top?

My preference is to stir the pasta and the sauce together in the pan, and then add a little more sauce once served in the bowl.

The addition of a good quality vegetarian hard cheese, adds a rich complex, slightly nutty, slightly earthy flavour.

It might take close to 45 minutes to make this dish, but the time spent adds layers of complex flavour that are otherwise missing.

The problems is, have you made enough for all those second helpings that will be requested?


The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Ever?


spaghetti bolognese



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