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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rustic Spag Bol

One thing I like about Spaghetti Bolognese is how many varying ways there are to cook it. We never ate pasta growing up and so it was actually one of my brothers' rugby mates who taught me to cook my first spag bol when I was 16! I've cooked hundreds since that time, and recently discovered my new favourite way of preparing it, a la rustique!! 

I am needing more iron in my diet these days, so in an attempt to up the red meat intake, without eating too much  mince (as it really isn't as good as it ought to be in the UK), I started making my spag bol with real beef steak. 

I like that there are only a few ingredients, and all of which (aside from the canned tomato) are fresh! It was quick to prepare, and even quicker to disappear from our plates (which, given the caveman portion that Pete had, was quite worrying!!). 

Beef - rump steak or similar 
Tinned tomato 
Fresh basil
Pasta - linguine/spaghetti
Salt and pepper


1. I like to seal the beef first so that it remains super tender and juicy. Cut the meat into strips about the size of your little finger. Put some oil in a pan and toss the beef for about two minutes or until all sides have turned from pink to brown. Take off the heat and set aside in a bowl to rest. 

2. Next you want to prepare the sauce. In a cleaned out pan (wash out the beef juices if using the same one), Add onion and garlic to the pan with a splash of oil and cook on medium for about two minutes, or until the onion has softened.

3. Add the canned tomatoes. I like the whole tomatoes, but the tins of chopped would be fine too!

4. Add freshly chopped basil, however much you like (I added more later too, I like basil!).

5. Add freshly ground salt and pepper. (SHAMELESS photo to show off my new grinders!!! Having informed my cousin Joanne that we've never had salt and pepper mills before, I received these incredible battery-operated grinders for Christmas, which I think it's fair to say, was worth the wait!! Current issue, REDUCING the amount we use them!!!).

6. Add the beef back into the sauce and stir. 

7. Now you want to cook your pasta, as this will take about 5 minutes, which is enough time for your sauce to thicken in the meantime. 

Submerge pasta into boiling water and stir initially to keep the strands separated throughout cooking. My pasta usually takes about 5 minutes, however I must say, I don't think I've ever timed it, so I don't know for sure! It takes however long it takes for it to be not crunchy, but not slushy! 

8. Strain pasta and check that your sauce has thickened nicely. 

9. Pile the bolognese on the pasta, add some freshly grated parmesan cheese and basil if you like, and enjoy!

As a side note.... I thought our portion sizes were quite funny! No need to gently place cutlery beside your meal when there's enough there to hold the fork up itself!! 

(And YES, I eat my pasta with a  fork and knife, and No, I do not need to consult a therapist!).

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