Spagetti Bolognese & Garlic Bread

No, I'm not going to give a definitive recipe for Bolognese sauce – there's plenty out there online if you need one. Instead, let's have a little look at what the sauce should really be.

For a start, let's get something clear, Bolognese sauce, ragù alla bolognese in Italian, is a meat sauce, not a tomato and meat sauce. It should contain only very little tomato. In Bologna it is traditionally eaten with tagliatelle, not spaghetti.

The Bolognese delegation to the Accademia Italiana della Cucina list the ingredients as beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, meat broth, white wine, and milk. Note the use of white wine not red.

Now, your probably thinking, "this blokes too good to be true. He's got his anorak on and going off on one again", so I'll admit that it's rare for me to make a 'proper' Bolognese sauce. It's usually a mince and tinned tomatoes affair, eaten with spaghetti or made into a quick lasagne.

We're having it tonight 'cos we don't know how many we'll be feeding. The kids like garlic bread with it. I can't stand most of the shop bought garlic breads, they are a poor imitation of the real thing with their artificial garlic taste, but, I can't often be bothered to bake the bread and we can't get fresh bread daily in the village. So, what to do?

Well I use either a frozen loaf or one of those 'long-life' part-baked things. A couple or four garlic cloves, some softened butter and some chopped parsley, stuff it in the oven in tin-foil, foil opened after about ten minutes 'cos I like it a bit crispy, et Voilá. I don't even pre-cook the bread.

I know the purists will scoff, but nobody can be perfect all the time

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