Everybody loves spaghetti Bolognese – right?
I mean what’s not to love? It’s a comfort food classic that slips down a treat whether you’re six or 66. You’re going to love my Quick and Easy Bolognese because not only is it made from scratch using good for you ingredients, you can also have it on the table in a matter of minutes.
And this Bolognese has a secret ingredient that makes the sauce even richer and more delicious than normal.
Want to know what it is?
It’s smoked sweet paprika!
Ok. I know that smoked paprika is a million miles from a traditional Bolognese ingredient, but it really does take this sauce to another level. And as the sauce cooks the flavours blend. So you don’t actually notice the smokiness in the sauce. You just know you’re eating a really good Bolognese.
I love smoked sweet paprika. For me it’s one of those game changers that really earns its space in the cupboard. Its proper name is pimenton, so you may also find it sold as that. Just make sure you get the sweet variety as the term ‘sweet’ comes from the type of pepper that has been smoked. You can also get hot pimenton but I usually just have the sweet version in and add cayenne if I want to spice things up a bit.
So, how do you make this gorgeous sauce?
To start with you need to get the onion, garlic and oregano off to a start then you can add in the ground beef. Don’t worry if the onion isn’t totally translucent as it will finish frying along with the meat. Cook the meat, breaking it up as you go, until it has all browned off. Next, add in the remaining ingredients except the corn flour, and simmer gently for as little as ten minutes and as long as an hour – your choice. Longer simmering gives more tender meat but it rarely gets more than ten minutes in my house and still disappears from plates at the speed of light!
To finish off you just need to decide if you want to thicken your sauce slightly. If you do, mix the corn flour with a little water then temporarily reduce the heat under the pan so that the sauce is no longer bubbling. Stir in the corn flour mixture and turn the heat back up. Simmer for a couple of minutes stirring regularly. And hey presto – dinner’s ready!
Other pasta recipes you may like to try: Creamy Roast Red Pepper Pasta, Baked Tagliatelle with Smoked Salmon and Gruyere and Linguine with Smoked Bacon, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach.
The Best Quick and Easy Bolognese Sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 onion (finely diced)
- 1 large clove garlic (crushed)
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (pimenton)
- 500 ml passata
- 1 stock cube dissolved in 100ml boiling water*
- 1½ teaspoons sugar/maple syrup (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons corn flour**
- Pasta or low carb alternative
- Gently fry the onion, garlic and oregano for a few minutes until the onion is softening. Add the beef mince and stir-fry until the beef mince is brown, breaking it up as it cooks.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the salt, pepper and corn flour. Stir well and simmer gently for at least ten minutes and up to 1 hour – just ensure it doesn’t dry out.
- Season to taste. If necessary, mix the corn flour with two to three teaspoons of water and stir into the bolognese. Simmer for a further two minutes.