Spaghetti Bolognese | Dani Valent

Spaghetti Bolognese

Want to nail spag bol in the Thermomix? Got you covered!

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.

Makes: 2 litres (feeds about 10)
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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 (my recipe is fabuloso!)
  • 60 grams (2 oz) tomato paste
  • black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • pasta of choice, cooked according to packet instructions (or make my Gnocchi!)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • parsley, chopped

Method

1. Place onion, garlic, carrot, celery, zucchini and mushrooms in mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/speed 5, or until well diced. If necessary, scrape down and mix for a further 2 sec/speed 5.

2. Add olive oil, salt and bay leaf. Cook for 6 min/Varoma/speed 1.

3. Add mince and break up well with a spatula. Cook for 4 min/100°C (212°F)/Rev/speed 1.

4. Add vinegar and milk. Stir with spatula, ensuring mince is not stuck to the blades. Cook for 3 min/100°C(212°F)/Rev/speed 1.

5. Add passata and tomato paste and stir with 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).

6. Taste for seasoning.

Tips

  • 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!

Variations

  • Replace vinegar with 60 grams (2 oz) red wine.
  • Use all pork or all beef mince. You can even use chicken or turkey mince.
  • Add a cinnamon stick along with (or instead of) the bay leaf.
  • How about Lasagne! It’s so easy. Make a bechamel sauce by adding 800 grams milk, 40 grams chopped butter and 50 grams flour (gluten-free is fine) to mixing bowl, plus a pinch of salt and pinch of nutmeg, if desired. Cook for 9 min/90°C (195°F)/Rev/speed 4.  Add 100 grams cubed cheese if desired and mix for 20 sec/speed 7 or until smooth. In a baking dish, layer warm bolognese sauce and lasagne sheets (I use dry ones but fresh are great too, or you could even use slices of raw sweet potato, pumpkin or zucchini). After a few layers, add half the bechamel, then continue with meat and pasta layers. Top with remaining bechamel and grated cheese, if using. Bake according to lasagne packet instructions (about 190°C/375°F for about 30 minutes), or until golden brown on top and a knife can easily pierce pasta. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  • Want another great idea for a pasta dinner? How about my cheeky Tomato and Vodka Pasta Sauce?
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