Recipe: The ultimate hangover bolognese

Last updated 11:25 07/08/2014
NEVER GETS OLD: Pasta with saucey meat clinging to it is a true classic that we'll never get sick of.

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This is a dish for those still eating carbohydrates who walk among us. Hello my dears.

Pasta, big thick indecent ribbons of the stuff, with sauce clinging desperately to its surfaces is one of cooking's greatest achievements. It is one of the first things I ever learnt to master in the kitchen, and to this day something I will never ever tire of making or eating. Bolognese, in one form or another, has travelled round the world.

Its one of those dishes that everyone feels passionate about, a family heirloom among many, and also the very reason I do not claim that this is the be all and end all of Bolognese recipes; but it is a pretty damn good one. It has been prepared and eaten amongst my tribe to combat pretty much every ailment be it physical or emotional from hangovers to broken hearts, windy days, anniversaries and as a Sunday night vice to prepare us for the week ahead.

In Bologna it is served mainly with lasagne verdi, but it can go with many other kinds of pasta and here I've just made sheets and cut them into gorgeously large strips but that's just my preference. According to the nonna's I've borrowed from my friends from time to time, the key is to spend an age and then some cutting up the beef for the Bolognese sauce, rather than using minced beef from the butcher because it tastes better (of course) and this is the traditional way it is made.

For the bolognese
2 tbs olive oil 
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g chuck steak, finely diced
150g veal rump, finely diced
3 tbs tomato purée
200ml red wine 
(the heavier the better)
300ml chicken stock
1 x 450g tinned cherry tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of grated parmesan, to serve
few basil or flat leaf parsley leaves to serve
For the pasta
300g pasta flour
3 eggs

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Main ingredient Beef
Type of dish Italian
Course Dinner
Cooking time 2+
Serves/makes 4
Special options Kid-friendly

1. Heat the oil over a super low heat in a heavy-based pan. When hot, add the vegetables and garlic and cook gently, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (do not allow to colour). This can take up to twenty minutes.

2. Add the meat and brown lightly before adding the tomato puree and cook for about 5 minutes or until it has coated the meat and thickened slightly.

3. Add the wine, increase the heat slightly and allow it to bubble away and reduce by a third. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, stirring well to combine then cover and cook for at least 3 hours over very low heat, checking it every hour or so to ensure it doesn't stick. If it seems to be reducing too rapidly, add a touch more stock (or preferably wine).

4. For the pasta add the flour and eggs to a bowl and using your hands bring together and incorporate until a just smooth dough forms. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.  Remove and tear into two portions. Working with one portion at a time, run through a pasta machine to your desired thickness and allow to dry slightly before cooking.

5. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add half to the Bolognese, stirring gently to coat the pasta. Season then serve. Top with additional Bolognese sauce, shaved parmesan and herbs if using.

- Daily Life 

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