If there is 1 thing guaranteed to start a row in a roomful of cooks, it’s a “discussion” over what constitutes a “genuine” Bolognese sauce.
Our family recipe does, it has to be said, stray somewhat from the path of righteousness – the paprika is bound to raise a few eyebrows – but we giveth not a fig, flying or otherwise.
This recipe has evolved over many years to suit our own foibles and preferences, and this is its latest incarnation, Paleo style.
This was achieved by the removal of 3 ingredients – white wine, cream, and stock cubes. Mrs. Paleovirtus and Paleovirtus Jr. opined later that this Paleo version was every bit as good as it ever was, if not even tastier, by virtue of it being “lighter”, less oily.
On the dishing-up side, boiled glue was obviously out of the question, so we went with a zucchini / courgette tagliatelle. The Parmesan cheese normally dumped over the finished dish was substituted with ground almonds, which, again, worked a treat.
Zucchini Tagliatelle a la Bolognese
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 4 sticks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 150g smoked, diced bacon
- 500g minced pork
- 500g minced beef
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- 3 tbsp tomato purée
- Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a deep non-stick pan. Fry the bacon for about 5 minutes until starting to colour.
- Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and fry for about 10 minutes or so, until soft.
- Add the garlic, paprika, and thyme. Fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the pork and beef mince, giving it a good shot of black pepper. Mix well, and then stir fry, breaking up the mince and coating it with the spices and vegetables.
- Continue to stir-fry until the mince has lost its raw colour – about 10 minutes or so.
- Add enough water to give the mince a sauce to cook in. Stir in the tomato purée and add the bay leaves.
- Simmer on low heat for about an hour or so, keeping an eye on the consistency of the sauce, adding water if necessary. Our personal preference is for the final sauce to be quite thick, not runny in the slightest.
- Serve with zucchini / courgette tagliatelle, and ground almonds in place of the more usual Parmesan cheese.