Recipessz for Fresherssz #3

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Ainsley… I’ve gone and done it. Last night, I made spaghetti bolognese. I know. I know. I’m officially the internet’s top chef. I’m about to hit the big time. I’ll try and remember you when I’m bathing in tubs of baked beans, surrounded by babez feeding me grapez, laughing at the thought of watching TV on a 55″ monitor when, clearly, I can afford a 60″ one. Fuck it, I’ll be able to afford my own cinema. Odeon, I’m coming after you.

Anyway, back to the recipe, cos if I don’t post this, I’ll never get discovered by the Simon Cowell of internet chefs, whoever that may be, and all of the above will never come true. I’m not going to insult you by telling you how to cook a spaghetti bolognese; it’s pretty much the first thing you’re taught how to cook, and if you don’t know yet, then you’re a lost cause. Seriously, go home. Go home and ask your momma how to cook spaghetti bolognese.

Instead, I’m going to highlight some tips that will make your spaghetti bolognese that extra bit sexier (note to self: stop calling food “sexy”, it’s fucking weird). Everyone makes their spag bol a little differently, and last night I pretty much just mushed together all the recipe variations I’ve ever tried and put them together into one big sexy (sorry) cauldron of love.

1. Adding beef stock cubes when browning the mince & onions. This one’s been in an advert for OXO, I’m sure of it, and it makes everything taste that little bit smokier.

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2. Add red and yellow peppers to the mix. Some people don’t put peppers in and like their spag bol made simple; just minced meat in a tomatoey sauce, but adding peppers will not only enhance the flavour, but also introduce a new texture to the dish. Ha, look at me, talking about “textures” in food. You can also add mushrooms, but I hate mushrooms. They’re like chewing on rubber.

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3. Add tomato purée, garlic purée and ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Ketchup will add salt, meaning you don’t really need to add any salt itself. Tomato purée and garlic purée will make the dish more tomatoey and garlicy, you idiot. Also, if your tomato purée comes out anything like mine in the below photo, it’ll look like someone’s taken a nice curly shit in your saucepan. Everybody likes curly shits in their saucepans.

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4. Add Worcestershire sauce and/or wine. Again, these will just add to the flavour. You really don’t need to add much of either, so you can just get one of those mini bottles of wine, use half, and stick the rest in your cupboard for next time.

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5. Leave it to simmer. This might sound obvious, but the longer you cook your bolognese for, the tastier it’ll get. If you have time and your stomach isn’t yelling at you, start cooking the sauce as early as possible, and leave it on a low heat for about half an hour before putting on the pasta. It might start looking a little watery, but this’ll reduce and get absorbed by the meat.

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6. Make shitloads. As well as being cheaper overall if you just buy loads of everything and make a massive pot of it that you eat over a few days, reheated bolognese is one of the best things ever (for the same reason as above; the meat has more time to absorb the flavours around it).

7. Use your leftovers to make chilli con carne. If you have enough left over, and you don’t fancy the same food multiple times in a row, you can easily turn it into a chilli con carne. As well as adding the standard red kidney beans and chilli powder, I also like to drizzle copious amounts of Tabasco and sprinkle a buttload of paprika into the mix too.

This was my previous attempt at illustrating how to cook chilli con carne. Hopefully I’ve done better this time:

Oh and, to anyone who read Recipessz #2… WE HAVE A GRATER!

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As always, thank my mum. And everyone else who I’ve stolen spaghetti bolognese ideas off of.

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