I hate to say it, but DAMN, sometimes I'm good. Now if only I could take decent photos...
Admittedly spaghetti bolognese is the staple and never-fail meal of choice for many, many people, myself included, so really this shouldn't be a wildly exciting post. My usual bolognese... correction, my PREFERRED bolognese, is from a cookbook I was given about 10 years ago by my mother - it's brilliant, it has almost anything you could want to cook, except it doesn't have a lot of asian food. So the next year Mum bought me an asian cookbook :) Anyway, that bolognese has veal and pork mince, red wine, garlic.... lots of good stuff, and simmers for a couple of hours. THIS bolognese needed to be made a touch quicker, as my tummy wasn't in the mood to wait.
I was really quite happy with the results, it turned out far better than I'd hoped. For all those people who rely on packet mixes - throw them out! You really don't need them. About the only thing I really think this needed was a touch of salt added - but all the same, I found it quite tasty. And I only used the cheap brands! (ie. Farmland, Coles brand)
250g dried pasta (I used rigatoni this time, I usually use whatever is in the cupboard... you know, the stuff that cooks in about 10-15 minutes)
Splash of oil
1 medium onion, sliced finely
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic from a jar)
500g good-quality mince (the better the mince, the nicer the bolognese)
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 x 140g can tomato paste (although you don't need to use the whole tin, I did)
Splash of water, if wanted (literally a splash, maybe 1/3 a cup)
mixed/italian dried herbs, to taste
chilli powder, to taste
Get the water for the pasta boiling. Add the oil to the pan and heat it, then throw in the onion and garlic and let it cook for a few minutes over a fairly high heat. Then add the mince and cook till it's brown all over. Once this happens add the pasta to the boiling water.
Reduce the heat for the mince to low. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the mince with a little bit of water (if you want) and stir. Allow the mix to simmer. Add the herbs and chilli powder (for me it was maybe half a dozen or more shakes of the herb bottle and 2 shakes of the chilli... keep adding and mixing and taste-testing until you have a flavour you like). Add a little salt too if you think it needs it. Allow to simmer, stirring now and then, until the pasta is cooked.
Drain the pasta, remove the bolognese from the heat, and dish it up in whatever way you like. Top it off with some grated/shaved cheese (I had to make do with cheddar, but of course parmesan is good). Eat, enjoy. Ready in about 20 minutes from go to whoa.
Depending on the appetite of the person, this could feed 4. Me, personally, I eat what I want and have the rest as leftovers for a few meals. If I had a bigger freezer I could just make the sauce and freeze it for use later but... I don't have a big freezer.
Anyway, try it, experiment with flavours, don't be afraid to keep taste-testing to make sure you've got it right - all the big-name chefs do it!!