Jamie Oliver’s Spaghetti Bolognaise


Jamie Oliver is my kind of guy-his recipes use affordable ingredients, he is an ambassador of “real” food, he loves his kids and his wife, his success has apparently not changed his wardrobe and he writes his recipes as if he were standing in the kitchen next to you:  “don’t worry about technique, just chop away until fine”, “if you’re ready to tuck in,  just drape the warm slices over the lettuce and serve” , “it would be lovely if everyone had a go at making things like tarts, tortes or pastries at home…..”

My prized “Food Revolution” Cookbook was a gift from my son and daughter (in law) #3.  This past Sunday dinner (mandatory) I prepared a big batch of spaghetti and then sent everybody home with left overs.  I added a couple of my own modifications and the kids had their own improvement as well.  Here is the result:

2 slices of bacon, chopped

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

olive oil

2 heaped t of dried oregano

1 lb good quality beef 

28 oz. can of diced tomatoes


a small bunch of fresh basil

4 oz. Parmesan cheese

1 lb. dried spaghetti

I doubled the recipe and used a lb. of ground beef and a thinly sliced flank steak from the freezer.  I soaked both in milk before cooking (a technique I had seen in another Bolognese recipe) and then finely chopped up the flank steak.

Saute bacon with oregano and cook until golden.  Add veggies and stir every frequently until softened and lightly coloured.  Stir in the meat (drained if soaked in milk) and tomatoes.  Now Jamie adds a can of water but the kids think that this makes the sauce too soupy, so go by your own preference.  Let simmer until veggies or to your desired firmness (approx. 20 minutes).  Add S&P to taste.  Add freshly torn basil leaves.  Cook pasta to your liking and when it is el dente, drain and stir into the sauce.    Sprinkle with Parmesan.

For more beef ideas, go to www.beefinfo.org.  I am dreaming of time away at Eat, Write, Retreat www.eatwriteretreat.com.

Kath’s quote: “The strands of spaghetti were vital, almost alive in my mouth, and the olive oil was singing with flavor. It was hard to imagine that four simple ingredients [olive oil, pasta, garlic and cheese] could marry so perfectly.”-Ruth Reichl

posted under Cookbooks, Entrees

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