I was always under the impression that "Spag Bol" was a well known term for the classic and delicious Spaghetti Bolognese. However, it has come to my attention dear friends, that not everyone is familiar with this culinary pet name. If you've never heard of it before - you're welcome - and please feel free to embrace it. It's fun to say.
There are obviously lots of recipes out there, and opinions as to what goes into it. To mushroom or not? I've heard of people adding a can of condensed tomato soup (gross). Bacon or no bacon? Pork / Beef mix, and the list goes on. (Most) of these are great options, and I'll leave it to you to weak if you feel the need. But this is a simple and tasty version that performs each and every time.
I like to grate my onion and carrot, I prefer the texture, however, that is completely optional. If you prefer diced then go for it! If you're feeling a lighter version then opt for Zucchini noodles made with your spiralizer or a peeler. If you do decide to use this vegetable as your base, you may need to sprinkle them with a bit of salt, just to help with the flavour profile. I'll admit, although I do actually like zucchini noodles, nothing trumps good, high quality proper Italian pasta.
Making a day or 2 ahead is a really great idea. Honestly, the flavours blend and improve with an evening in the fridge. Plus, it makes dinner time the following day a real breeze.
approx .5kg / 1 lbs ground lean beef
1 onion, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red wine
1 can whole tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
2-3 bay leaves
2 tbs Herbs de Provence
1 tsp oregano
pinch of chili flakes
dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste (likely more than you think you need!)
dried pasta of choice or Zucchini noodles or mixture of both
Place a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add meat and allow to cook almost all the way through, pouring off excess fat. Remove meat and set aside. Add oil and onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Place meat back in pot along with wine and allow to cook down, approximately 5 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the whole tomatoes in the blender until smooth. Add them to the pot along with spices, Worcestershire sauce and lots of salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 1-2 hours, the longer the better. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If making ahead, allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge.
When ready to eat, reheat sauce if necessary. Cook pasta of choice according to directions, or get spiralizing!