Pappardelle Bolognese

This is a delicious family-style Bolognese, with a little chilli kick, that is great to prepare ahead. I like to make it with a mix of pork and beef for a really full flavour, but you can make it with just beef mince if you prefer. It needs long, slow cooking to develop rich, deep flavours, but little attention during that time. Serve it to family or friends with a plain green salad and a little good bread. Warning – I cook this for at least 5 hours, and almost always the day before I serve it – I suggest doing the same! It is really easy to throw together at the weekend, as it keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge and freezes well, so perfect for busy Mums, people getting home late from work needing something quickly or students who aren’t much into cooking! (PS – hope you like the new pics 🙂 )

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped (to taste)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
200g chorizo sausage, casings peeled off, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional for extra chilli kick)
500g beef mince
500g pork mince
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 x 400g tins, chopped tomatoes in juice
1 cup red wine
250ml beef stock
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan to serve
1/2 cup torn flat leaf parsley leaves
800g pappardelle, fettuccine or spaghetti
Heat oil in a big casserole pan over medium heat. Add onion, chill, carrot and chorizo, salt and pepper and cook for 10-12 minutes until onion is just soft. Add pork and beef mince and garlic. Use a wooden spoon to break up the mince – keep working at it while it is cooking and browning, you don’t want to be left with any big lumps. It will take about 10 minutes over a medium heat to brown and break up, then add milk and sugar. (These will mellow out the flavour and stop the tomato from becoming bitter). Mix in and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes in their juice, red wine, beef sock and tomato paste. Mix well to combine. Reduce heat to very low and leave to cook gently half covered (wedge a wooden spoon or similar under the lid – but watch it isn’t so near the flame or element it burns!) until the liquid has reduced and the bolognese is rich in colour and flavour, stirring every once in a while – for at least 5 hours. If I need to go out while cooking this, I just turn it off, cover it for up to a couple of hours, then continue cooking when I get home. I never serve it on the day of cooking as the flavour is so much better the next day.
When you are ready to serve it, reheat the bolognese and cook pasta according to packet instructions, until al dente. Drain, (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water) then add to the pot with the bolognese and reserved pasta water. Stir through to combine, with 1/2 cup parmesan. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve garnished with parsley, family-style at the table, passing extra parmesan and good quality bread separately, with a big green salad with simple balsamic and olive oil dressing. Serves 6-8

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