Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spaghetti Bolognese

I wasn't expecting to be served spaghetti bolognese in the German speaking part of Switzerland, but I was and it was delicious!  If I hadn't been so full from the first plateful I would have had another serving or two!  After a talk with our waitress and the chef from the hotel I quickly wrote down the ingredients and steps to make this delicious dish.  It is an easy dish but please allow time for it to simmer.  It's well worth the wait!

Our waitress told me that if you have other vegetables on hand you need to use your can throw them in as well.  She gave red and green peppers as examples.

Spaghetti Bolognese                                                                                     Printable Recipe

1-1/4 pounds steak*
olive oil
2 carrots
1 small onion
1-2 stalks celery
15 ounces tomato puree or plain sauce (some canned sauces has spices in it)
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves**
2-1/2 to 3 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs (generally a mix of: oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, savory, thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
up to 4 cups of water (divided)
cooked spaghetti
grated Parmesan

Dice your veggies.
Trim and cut your beef into small pieces.  I made mine into a little smaller than 1/2" pieces and I will go smaller next time. 
Drizzle olive oil into a cast iron (preferred) pan.  Slowly add beef so it can brown.  You may have to do a couple batches to get good color and so not to steam your beef.  Cook each batch for 3-4 minutes.
Add veggies, tomato puree, bay leaf, cloves and 2 cups of water.  Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. 
Add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed to keep it saucy.  As you can see the color will change from a bright red to a deeper color. (I have taken a picture to show you for reference.)

Add Italian herbs after about an hour of cooking. Remove bay leaf and cloves.  Salt and pepper to taste.   
My sauce was thick enough but if you were making a larger batch you might need to add a spoonful of farina flour mixed with water (like a cornstarch slurry) to help thicken the batch. 
Serve over spaghetti with Parmesan sprinkled on top.
This sauce could be easily doubled or tripled and then froze for another time.  One mess, many meals! I am sure you could sub ground beef for the steak and cut down on the cost a little.

I used a porterhouse I had in the freezer.  I think it was marked wrong as it didn't look like the typical porterhouse from what I saw online.  A cheap cut of beef works well here as it gets more tender as it is cooked for a long time.

**I did just one batch so fishing out the cloves was easy.  If you do a larger batch you may want to tie them into a small piece of cheesecloth so you can easily fish them out. 


  1. We will be off to Europe soon too and am totally excited! This bolognese dish is totally appetizing!

  2. Another favorite! Thank you for linking up with Thursday Favorite Things. Have a great weekend!

  3. This looks amazing! Thanks for linking up to the Country Fair Blog Party this month.