With this easy recipe you can master the perfect Bolognese in no time at all. Adding bacon lardons, red wine and bay leaves imparts rich flavour to this classic Italian recipe, which the whole family are sure to love.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the celery, carrot and bay leaf and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the lardons and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until golden.
Turn up the heat and add the mince. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until the meat is brown and all the liquid has evaporated.
Add the red wine and continue to cook on a high heat, until reduced by two thirds.
Turn down the heat and add the tomatoes, tomato purée and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and is a rich, red colour.
Meanwhile, 15 minutes before the sauce is ready, heat a large pan of salted water and, when boiling, add the spaghetti. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until just al dente.
Drain, reserving a ladle of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and pour the sauce and the reserved pasta water over it.
Stir the sauce and pasta together and serve immediately with the grated Parmesan.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.
Freezing and defrosting
This Bolognese sauce is perfect for making in large batches and freezing to use at a later date.
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date.
Always defrost and heat thoroughly before eating. Never re-freeze food that has already been frozen; this includes raw and cooked ingredients such as meat, fish and poultry.