Bolognese Brilliance: no serious slurping, no mess, just awesome food.
Building on from Springy Bolognese, I’ve decided to list some numbers and ingredients for this massively easy pasta dish. Its hearty and satisfying; perfect for that one time when you’re feeling incredibly hungry. Hurhur.
The brilliant thing about bolognese is that there’s no hard and fast rule about what goes inside. To me, it’s like Chinese Fried Rice; you add whatever tickles your fancy. Personally, I aim for ‘colourful’.
So here’s what I had in mine this time. Extremely extravagant.
- 1 third of pasta from a standard size quick cook spaghetti pack
- 1 handful of chopped red pepper
- 1 handful of chopped yellow pepper
- 1 handful of peas, frozen works the same
- 1 handful of mushrooms, sliced
- 1 white onions, minced
- 1 third of a finger chilli, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-sized knob of butter
- 50g of double concentrate tomato puree
- half tbsp of dried basil
- 1 handful of finely grated cheddar (if you have parmesan, even better)
- 1 handful of fresh rocket (optional)
- 1 handful of beef minced (omit this is you’re vegetarian)
With all the ingredients ready, what you’re going for now is efficiency and speed. No mucking about. You’re hungry, and if you’re not about getting angry yet, your stomach is. A hungry man is an angry man. Whatever.
This is how to roll:
- Since we’re going for speed, quick-cook pasta is the key choice here. Get that in a pot of boiling water and let it work its magic. If you believe in the Italian saying that ”the water for pasta cooking should be as salty as the Mediterranean”, then go right ahead and salt that water.
- While that’s happening, get another pot/wok on the hob too. If your peas are frozen, get them straight in, together with that knob of butter. If not, get everything you want in your bolognese e.g. onions, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc. and dump them in. Let them fry about while you wash up your chopping board and knife, and welcome the Aroma Fairies.
- When they (the ingredients, not fairies) are just about done, in goes the minced beef. Toss.
- Then, tomato puree goes in too. Here’s a tip. Instead of using plain water to dilute your sauce, get some of that starchy pasta water, about half a cup full and pour it into the sauce. Happy days.
- Mix about before adding the dried basil. Mix some more and taste. Season with salt and pepper your liking. Turn the heat off.
- Your pasta should be done, so drain the water out and get it straight into your superb bolognese sauce. Toss about, coating every strand of that spaghetti in red goodness. Move all to a serving dish.
- Top with fresh rocket leaves. Then, grate your cheese straight onto everything.
Recall Marmite Power & Mushroom Marmite Magic.
Now combine both.
Have it with a light green salad. Happy days.
Remember Marmite Pasta? That was a simple as it could be. Today, I decided to use a ton of mushrooms with the dish. Mushrooms, spring onions, onions, garlic, butter and Marmite. As you can see, I added a small bit of chilli too, for the mandatory spicy kick.
Mushroom Marmite Spaghetti: Incredibly lazy, absolutely satisfying.
A perfect brunch for the lethargic noon bird.
Ignore the Very Succulent Braised Chicken Portions. What I’d like to turn your attention to, is the bland-looking mishmash of a pasta.
Lesson for the Day:
Butter, mushrooms, garlic and oregano are a fantastic combination, a crowd-pleaser. But if what you wanna achieve out-of-this-world fireworks that will knock your loved ones out of their seats, add finely grated cheddar and chopped rocket before you take the pasta out of the pan. The nutty flavour of rocket will complement earthy oregano and mushrooms beautifully. The cheese sticks everything together, and adds the coveted stringy trail in every bite.
If you’re still looking at that juicy chicken thigh, I’m sorry the pasta doesn’t look as good. More on the Very Succulent Braised Chicken Portions here.
I remember the first time I ordered Aglio Olio. I was a young student then and pocket money was well, just pocket money. So pompous Bolognese and obnoxious Carbonara sitting on the menu had to take the back seat. Since then, I’d always thought of Aglio Olio as the humble, poor man’s pasta.
Most definitely, things change when you’ve got money. But hey, things also change when you can make your own food. Aglio Olio isn’t the same anymore; look who’s come out to play with the big boys now.
Talk about Fish & Chips, here’s a variation. I wouldn’t say it’s healthier or whatever, it’s just a lazier way you can get some fish and potato chips into your diet. (Of course, it involves more effort than simply popping over to the Fish & Chips store across the road.)
Pan-Fried Pollock & Chips
Together with the special appearance by Mr Mushrooms and Ms Asparagus, both the fish and chips are fried in a pan.
Season the less-than-inch-thick fish fillets with salt and pepper and place them gently onto a really hot pan. Let them sizzle away until you can see them getting increasingly cooked on the top. Turn them over for just 40 seconds or so, and remove.
I cut my potatoes to a quarter the size of a normal chip. This lets them cook faster, and they get crispier too. With butter, thyme, pepper and just a pinch of salt, be gastronomically prepared for some awesome hassle-free chips.
Fish and Potatoes are a great combination. Replace the chips with a mash, and make a white garlic sauce to bond the two. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.
I didn’t sleep well last night because my thoughts couldn’t stop running – thoughts of making my own pasta. So today, I made some tagliatelle from scratch. I need more practice for sure. But for a first-timer, without a food processor nor pasta machine, I think this deserves some attention.
Fresh Homemade Pasta
Combining a single egg and 100g of flour per person is all that was required. Kneading till smooth, rolling till flat, all before folding and cutting. Finally, I understood how tremendously beautiful it is to hold a handful of pasta, freshly made with my own hands.
It’s dangerously addictive too. Try it today! Because even if you fail, that one egg and bit of flour is definitely worth the experience. (:
Important Tip: Be sure to flour the counter top and rolling pin just a little when you’re working. Don’t want all that hard work sticking itself away. Good luck!