Everyone has a recipe for spaghetti bolognese, or “spag bol” as it’s fondly known in our family. My Mum taught me to make it when I was about ten, so I could probably make it with my eyes closed. This version includes lots of mushrooms, which in my view are an essential ingredient. I know it’s a bit “retro” to use an oxo cube, but it’s one of those recipes I’ve been making forever, it works, so why change it? I usually double the recipe which makes enough to freeze some for another day or you can use the leftovers to make a small lasagne.
2 Tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
250g mushrooms, wiped and sliced
500g minced beef
1 400g can peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 beef oxo cube or beef stock cube
1 Tbs tomato paste
3 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbs fresh chopped oregano or marjoram
3 Tbs dry sherry or red wine
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook onion and garlic until soft but not brown. Add mushrooms and continue to cook and stir for a few minutes until the mushrooms have softened and are starting to brown. Add the mince and continue to cook and stir, breaking up any large bits, until the meat is browned all over. Add tomatoes, a can of water (using the empty tomato can) and remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce, stirring every five minutes or so, for 30-40 minutes, adding more water whenever the sauce gets too thick. You will probably use about 3 cans of water altogether. Serve with cooked spaghetti or fettuccine, grated cheese (Parmesan or cheddar or a mixture) and a mixed salad.