The bolognese we grew up on was our mum’s recipe. It was deep red in colour and we loved it nearly as much as we did twirling spaghetti strands round our fork, sending said red sauce flicking up our face, and onto every surface in a two metre radius. To call this much-loved meal a ‘traditional’ bolognese would plunge us into a mire of controversy thicker than any ragu ever to come out of nonna’s kitchen. It seems people feel very strongly indeed about what is – we must remind ourselves – a meat sauce.In traditional ragù alla bolognese, there is no garlic, the meat is classically beef, maybe pork, possibly chicken liver, it includes either red or white wine, and is finished with milk. Here at Dr Will’s we don’t like do things by the book (why our sauces taste so great) so we’ve whipped up a super tasty dish that pays no heed to tradition, whilst still delivering the richness of flavour we’d expect from a real Italian sauce, as opposed to something from a British school canteen. Closer to our mum’s recipe, and served with mashed sweet potato instead of pasta (oo-er) and preferably a bottle of wine (or two) we hope you enjoy our version.
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp cumin
Jar of chargrilled peppers
Tin chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp Dr Will’s Tomato Ketchup
4 sweet potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan, sautéing for around 10 minutes. When the onion is soft and translucent, finely chop the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Remove the sautéed onion and garlic from the pan and set aside. Add the beef mince and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes, until the meat is browned all over.
Drain the jarred peppers and slice into strips. Add to the pan, along with the onion and garlic, cumin, tin of chopped tomatoes, Dr Will’s Tomato Ketchup and salt and pepper to taste. Finally, re-fill the tomato tin with water and add to the mince mixture.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce.
After the mince has been bubbling away for around 45 minutes, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into 1cm cubes. Place in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until softened.
Drain the sweet potato and mash with a potato masher. Season with a pinch of salt.
Serve the sweet potato mash in bowls and spoon over the rich beef bolognese. Finish with torn basil.