Just what is it with kids and spaghetti Bolognese? Picture this. A cute toddler in her high chair, plump cheeks, a mass of ringlets on her head, empty bowl in front of her and red stains all over her face. No need to be told. You know straightaway that she’d just plowed her way through a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese. It’s no stereotype either. Nine out of ten kids like spaghetti Bolgnese. Ok, I just made that up. But don’t you agree its not that far off the truth?
So back to my question. What is it with kids and spaghetti Bolognese? Is it the velvety richness of that thick meat sauce? The homely aroma of sun-ripened tomatoes? The feel of the pasta as it slithers past those chubby little fingers? Or is it the potential that the above put together have for making a great, big mess? Whatever it is, I’m sure kids (and grown ups too) will love this spaghetti Bolognes recipe. I know my kids do.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 300 gms pork mince
- 300 gms veal mince
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 125 gms Spanish chorizo, sliced thinly
- 200 gms small button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 750 ml tomato passata
- 400 gm can diced tomatoes
- 375 gms spaghetti, cooked to packet directions
- 200 gms baby rocket leaves
- 50 gms shredded parmesan
How to Cook Spaghetti Bolognese
Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until soft then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the pork and veal mince. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the lumps, until the pinkness has disappeared but before the meat browns. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the vinegar. Cook until the vinegar has almost evaporated completely, stirring occasionally.
Add the chorizo and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sugar, passata and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and cook covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until the Bolognese sauce has thickened. Adjust the seasoning, if required. Serve over freshly cooked spaghetti with baby rocket leaves on the side and drizzled with grated parmesan.
Spaghetti Bolognese Tips
- Passata are ripe tomatoes cooked with a bit of salt, passed through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin and then bottled. It is slightly thicker than tomato juice but not as thick as tomato paste.
- Other smoked sausage varieties like pepperoni or cabanossi can be used in place of Spanish chorizo. And if you can get your hands on them, Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs in spaghetti Bolognese is a match made in heaven.
- Hand-shredded basil stirred into the sauce at the end of cooking makes for an interesting flavour twist.