Spaghetti Bolognese by Dani Valent
Makes 2 litres (this recipe uses a Thermomix but can be replicated on the stove top)
This recipe solves a bunch of problems!
One, dinner in 30 minutes. If ever I tell the family that it’s spaghetti bolognese tonight, they are so happy. I get no grumbles, only love, and that’s so nice and relaxing.
Two, crumbly mince. One of the main gripes I hear about Thermomix is about the way it cooks mince. I hate clumpy, sandy, dry mince too – you’ll never get that with this recipe.
Three, leftovers! This recipe makes about 2 litres of sauce so you’ll probably have some to keep in the freezer for emergency dinners and even lasagne.
Four, freedom! Let’s get one thing straight: this isn’t a traditional Italian recipe. In fact, there’s no such thing as spaghetti bolognese in Italy. In Bologna, they call it tagliatelle al ragu, that is flat ribbon pasta with meat sauce. You’ll get blank looks if you ask for spag bol!
Five, wine supply. Most bolognese recipes call for red wine. I know that lots of people don’t have it on hand and, if they do, may not wish to open a bottle for a splash of cooking wine. To be honest, this isn’t me! But this recipe is for ‘wine – meh’ cooks too. And wine lovers, see the variation and pour yourself a glass while it cooks.
Six! Yes, there’s more! This nourishing spag bol is packed with veg and light on meat. It’s a great way to get extra nutrients on the dining table.
140 grams (4.9 oz) onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
180 grams (6.3 oz) carrot, roughly chopped
100 grams (3.5 oz) celery, roughly chopped
170 grams (6 oz) zucchini, roughly chopped
170 grams (6 oz) mushrooms
60 grams (2 oz) olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
300 grams (10.5 oz) pork mince
200 grams (7 oz) beef mince
20 grams (0.7 oz) red wine vinegar
40 grams (1.4 oz) milk
700 grams (25 oz) passata
60 grams (2 oz) tomato paste
black pepper, to taste
pasta shape of choice, cooked according to packet instructions
Parmesan cheese, grated
Place onion, garlic, carrot, celery, zucchini and mushrooms in mixing bowl of a Thermomix. Chop 5 sec/speed 5, or until well diced. If necessary, scrape down and mix for a further 2 sec/speed 5.
Add olive oil, salt and bay leaf. Cook for 6 min/Varoma/speed 1.
Add mince and break up well with a spatula. Cook for 4 min/100°C (212°F)/Rev/speed 1.
Add vinegar and milk. Stir with the spatula, ensuring mince is not stuck to the blades. Cook for 3 min/100°C(212°F)/Rev/speed 1.
Add passata and tomato paste and stir with the spatula, ensuring mince is broken up. Cook for 20 min/90°C (195°F)/Rev/speed 1. Every 5 minutes, turn up speed and stir for 10 sec/Rev/speed 3 (see Tips). Taste for seasoning.
Don’t skip the stirring stages at step 5, but it doesn’t have to be exactly every 5 minutes. You can set 4 x 5 minute cooking times if you prefer.
If you do decide to use wine, my rule is, it has to be good enough to drink if I’m going to use it in cooking!
Dani is a writer, eater, traveller and cook and she loves to show people how to cook with a Thermomix. You can follow her on Instagram @danivalent
This recipe and the accompanying how-to video is live at danivalent.com, along with 150 other fantastic Thermomix recipes. Become a member to have access to all this, plus great new content every week.