Spaghetti bolognese or “spag bol” reminds so many of us of our childhoods.

For me it’s sitting at the kitchen island, swinging my legs watching the Bold and The Beautiful in black and white on our bunny eared kitchen TV, while a pot of this simmered behind me.

This isn’t your 30 minutes or less kind of recipe, no no, this is the absolute authentic, “oh my soul this is the best I have ever had” real Italian deal. Yes someone has in-fact said these exact words. The Italians know their stuff, and to get this one right you are going to need some patience. Not to worry though, get it going, then turn the heat down and forget about it for a few hours. All you need to do is stir it form time to time. If you have a slow cooker, even better, as you can make it before bed and set the timer for the morning! I highly recommend making a double or triple batch of this, portioning it, and freezing it. I currently have no less than 4 Tupperware’s stashed in the freezer just waiting for me to have a stressful day. This is the meal prep GOAT and it’s here to bloody shine people.

My recipe is a slight riff on the one my Aunty Becky learned from her Italian mother in law, during the time she lived in Italy. I have yet to meet a spag bol that can touch hers. This is coming from a chef who sailed all over the Sicilian islands on a yacht gig, purposefully seeking out the best pizza and spag bol she could find. The riff part comes from some advice I got from an elderly lady on Volcano Island, who sold me some of the best goats cheese I have ever eaten, coated in volcanic ash from the islands volcano. When her son translated my request to be shown the best pizza and spaghetti in town she probed a bit, before pointing me in the right direction and told me her secret was to add a splash of milk to her Bolognese. Iv’e made it that way ever since. My aunt, the OG creator of the recipe, was very sceptical at the idea, however when I filmed over on this on The Culinary Cartel Instagram she rang me out the blue to apologise, saying milk is indeed a fantastic addition. In my past life as a private yacht chef, a freezer packed to the brim with spag bol was the one request every captain would leave me with before I departed for home.

The cook along for this recipe can be found on The Culinary Cartel Instagram on our story highlights or by clicking here.

My Ultimate Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

Makes 4-6 servings of sauce

Ingredients:

500g Beef Mince, (ideally grass fed) or a mix of 200g pork mince and 300g beef mince
1/2 Cup Onion
1/2 Cup Celery
1/2 Cup Carrot
200ml Milk
200ml Red Wine (optional but advised- don’t worry all the alcohol will cook off)
2 Tins Tomatoes
Pinch Nutmeg

Olive Oil • Salt • Pepper as needed

Method:

Peel and dice your carrots, onion and celery.

Place a large pot over a medium heat.

Add a drizzle of olive oil and then fry your chopped vegetables until softened and slightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Next remove your vegetables from the pot and set them aside until needed.

Add another drizzle of olive oil to your pot then add your beef (and pork mince if using). Fry your beef and pork mince on high until deep golden brown, breaking it up into small mince crumbs with your wooden spoon. Don’t rush this step!

Chef Notes: Browning is one of the most flavour producing reactions in cooking. The Maillard reaction is many small, simultaneous chemical reactions that occur when proteins and sugars in and on your food are transformed by heat and caramelisation to producing new flavours, aromas, and colours. On a practical level the Maillard reaction makes food smell more enticing and taste more delicious. This step is one of the foundations to building the Ultimate Bolognese.

Once the mince is deeply golden, add back in your vegetables. Add your milk and turn the heat to high, until the milk is reduced to almost nothing, add the wine and repeat the process.

Once the liquids have all but evaporated, add in the tinned tomatoes. Swirl your tomato tins with water, and add this into the pot too. Set your heat to low and simmer the mixture for 3 hours, topping it up with water and stirring (from time to time) as you go to prevent sticking.

Once ready season the Bolognese with salt and pepper. Serve with spaghetti and loads of really good parmesan.

Happy Cooking x