A truly classic dish that brought back a lot of fantastic childhood memories for Mr M when we made it. Adapted from trying out different recipes and finally, we think, we’ve cracked it.
It was on a Saturday morning when we do our usual shopping list for the week which is based around what we want to eat in the week ahead and up went a hand with a shout “I know, lets have spag bol”
So, the shopping list took on an Italian feel that day and the resulting dish did not disappoint!
A great dish for a dinner party or a weekend treat. It’s a slow-cooked dish so you need to think ahead but it can be stored for a while in the fridge and to be honest, the flavours are so much better a few days after you’ve cooked it!
- 500g Lean minced beef
- 1 large white onion
- 4 strips streaky bacon (you can also use pancetta)
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 3 garlic cloves (finely crushed/minced)
- 300ml passata
- 1 bay leaf
- 300g mushrooms (we used chestnut but any variety will work)
- 1 glass red wine (Merlot is perfect for this)
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and place into a deep cooking dish. Cook for about 10 minutes on a low heat. You want to slowly cook the bacon to render the fat down and not burn the pieces.
- Then add in the onion, chopped as finely as you can. Cook for another 10 minutes on a low heat.
- Chop the carrot and celery into small pieces (you don't really want to see the carrot in the finished dish so chop as small as you can) Add these to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Finely chop the mushrooms. Again, you don't want to see the mushroom in the final dish so nice and small please! Add these to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Once all the vegetables have softened add in the minced beef and garlic. Stir the pan to make sure all the meat gets a chance to cook evenly. Season with plenty of salt and pepper at this stage. Turn up the heat and cook until the juices have almost run dry, keep stirring to prevent the bacon and minced beef from burning.
- Add in the wine and stir through. After about 5 minutes add in the passata and as much water as you need to cover the contents of the dish. Add in the bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil and stir then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and leave for 1.5 hours. Do check occasionally to make sure the liquid hasn't dried up. You're looking for a wet consistency but not too sloppy.
- When ready, cook the pasta (linguine or fettuccine will work fine) as per the packet instructions. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir the sauce mixture into the pasta. Serve with a generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.