Pasta must be one of my favourite foods to eat, and in combination with sauces and toppings, there are so many things one could make with pasta as base…

I am constantly hunting for a nice bolognaise recipe, as I have been craving pasta for quite some time. I found this one, but did make a few tweaks when I got around to making it, and here it is below (comments are in italics):

(Also, sorry that there isn’t a photo. I inhaled my food pretty much straight after dishing up)

You’ll need:

  • 500g fresh beef mince
  • 400g spaghetti (I just threw in a whole packet)
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon, finely diced
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (I used the plain ones from woolies)
  • 1,5 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced.
  • 1 medium chilli, finely chopped (I used the medium heat Woolies chilli and left the seeds in, depends on if you like heat or not)
  • 1 small tin of tomato puree
  • beef stock (I used the semi liquid one from Koo (I think it’s called beef stock concentrate), or you can throw in a cube)
  • 1 glass of red wine (sacrificial, sacrilege, optional)
  • Herbs:
  • 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary (I chopped the leaves up nice and fine, after struggling to get the leaves from the non-woody stalks. Sigh.)
  • 1 tsp dried origanum
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

(You’ll see that I omitted a few things (if you look at the original recipe), because either a) celery or b) Woolies didn’t have stock of what I was looking for (*cough*, fresh basil) in my frantic afternoon search, and I wasn’t willing to go to another store across the road to try my luck there)

Here’s what I did:

1. Fry bacon in olive oil until crispy, then reduce heat and add onions and garlic, fry some more until onions are translucent and soft

2. Up the heat again, a bit. Add all the beef mince and cook through until brown, then add chilli, origanum and rosemary and still cook for a bit

3. Add all the other things: tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock, wine, bay leaves

4. Let it simmer for just over an hour on a lowish to medium heat (covered), stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick (I did about the last half an hour uncovered, because it was VERY saucy, and I wanted a more concentrated sauce)

5. In the mean time cook and drain the spaghetti as per your packet’s instructions (mine took about 11 minutess until al dente)

6. I waited until the meat was basically done before adding salt and pepper, so the other flavours could develop first, so leave the salt and pepper to last

To serve:

You could do one of two things here. Either mix everything up in a big pot and serve, or dish up the spaghetti, and spoon over the meat afterwards. Personal preference, really. Whatever floats your spaghetti-boat.

Grate over some parmesan, and tuck in.


Everyone is still alive after eating this, so it means that I will definitely make it again, and I hope to add the stuff I couldn’t find this time around (here’s looking at you, fresh herb aisle in Woolies!). Except celery. And you can’t add *just* carrots. That’s just plain weird.

Also, it was hard to sacrifice that glass of wine into food. I wept silently. That was after I initially thought that the one glass of wine was for drinking while cooking.

On second thought, make the recipe state that one needs two glasses of wine. One for food, and one for enjoying while cooking.

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