I found an absolutely delicious bolognese sauce and I'm here to share it! I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman's website last year, and I loved it ever since! (So sorry I only get to share it now... heh)
I made several tweaks here and there, adding mushrooms (my favourite!) and removing the red wine as red wine's not very common in my pantry. In the end, this recipe utilises ingredients that can be found in most hypermarkets and it's definitely not a difficult sauce to make. And this sauce is way much better than those bottled / canned stuff - it's healthier (you can never imagine the amount of salt they use in those bottled sauces), meatier and tastier, so please, please give this sauce a try, I'm sure it won't disappoint!
Grab an onion and dice it into small pieces.
Peel and dice a carrot.
If you have someone in the family who always like to pick out the carrots or if you want to work a muscle, I suggest grating the carrots - great arm workout and the picky family member won't be able to pick out the carrots any more.
Peel, slice then proceed to dice up some cloves of garlic.
Use a garlic presser if you have one (I wish I have such fancy gadgets at home!) ):
Thinly slice some fresh mushrooms and open up a can of tomato paste and a can of diced mushrooms.
And the ground beef should be lying around somewhere...
Heat some olive oil in a huge pot and add in the carrot and onion.
Fry for a while; make a hole and add in the garlic.
Fry for another while and add in the ground beef.
Break the beef up as you fry until the beef is almost cooked.
Make a hole in the middle and add in the tomato paste.
Heat up the tomato paste around and mix it around with the beef mixture and then add in the mushrooms.
Add in the canned tomatoes
(I bought the wrong can of tomatoes - I bought whole tomatoes instead of diced...) /:
And the colour of the photo looks really weird, gotta go play around with my dslr more...
Add in some chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce.
Sprinkle the herbs and simmer for 20 minutes.
Skim the fat off the surface and season with salt and black pepper.
You can serve it immediately over cooked pasta, or if you're feeling a little fancy...
Place the pasta in a baking dish, spoon generous amounts of pasta sauce over...
Topped with a layer of mozzarella cheese... and bake away at 200 degrees Celsius for 5-8 minutes.
I over-baked it (heh) because I wasn't paying attention... but luckily it's not burnt!
Gooey, cheesy, meaty, and yummy!
Best Bolognese Sauce (serves 3-4)
adapted from Pastor Ryan's Bolognese Sauce,
50 ml olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced / grated
4 large garlic cloves, minced / finely chopped
500 grams ground beef
1 can tomato paste (~140 grams / 5 oz)
250 grams fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes (~400 grams / 14 oz)
150 ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sliced mozzarella cheese / Parmesan cheese
- You can replace ground beef with ground pork (but beef tastes much better in my opinion).
- Use either white or brown button mushrooms. Canned button mushrooms work as well, but I prefer the texture of fresh button mushrooms.
- Try to get canned tomatoes that have a lower salt content.
- Using diced tomatoes will result in a shorter cooking time, and there won't be a need to crush the tomatoes after that!
- Use chicken stock stored incarton or dissolve ¼ chicken stock cube in 150 ml hot water.
- Worcestershire sauce is not commonly available in Asian markets, but they can be found in large hypermarkets. If you can't find the sauce or don't want to get it, just omit it.
- You can use fresh herbs instead of dried ones. The ratio of dried to fresh is about 1:3, as dried herbs have a more intense flavour. This means 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano leaves and sweet basil leaves each.
- Dried oregano and basil can also be used to marinate meat and add into other pasta recipes, so don't hesitate to get them, and they can be kept for a longer period than fresh herbs.
- Add a piece of dried bay leaf in the sauce for extra flavour, remove it prior to serving.
- If you don't want to get dried oregano or basil, get a good quality dried pasta herb blend. Use the amount as specified on the label, normally it's about 1-2 tablespoons of herb blend.
Heat the olive oil in a huge pot over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot (but not smoking), add in the diced onion and carrot. Lower the heat to medium low. Stir the vegetables around a couple of times for a few minutes until the onions are translucent in colour.
Make a hole in the middle of the pot and add in the minced garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes until the fragrance of the garlic is released.
Make a hole in the middle of the pot again and add in the ground beef. Leave it for a couple of minutes then start stirring the ground beef, incorporating the vegetables, and fry until most of the ground beef is cooked (grey in colour).
For the last time, make a hole and dump in the tomato paste. Heat it up and stir to incorporate it into the beef and the vegetables. Add in the sliced button mushrooms, the can of diced tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and the dried oregano and basil flakes. Bring the mixture up to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Skim the surface (skim the fat off the surface of the sauce). Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper and spoon over cooked spaghetti or pasta. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese.
If making the baked pasta:
idea adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Place al dente pasta on a oven-proof serving dish and spoon generous amounts of sauce over it. Top with mozzarella / Parmesan cheese and bake for 5-8 minutes, until the top is golden brown (watch the pasta carefully, don't let the top burn!).
Serve immediately with extra cheese!