In Germany Spaghetti bolognese is a very common dish, well liked in canteens and at home. Children simply love it. But it is a dish adjusted to german taste: usually it is a tomatoe sugo (sauce cooked with many pureed tomatoes) and ground meat and lots of oregano and Parmesan cheese. This is not Ragu alla bolognese!
Today I used a classical italian recipe for Ragout bolognese with only one or two small modifications: I added mushrooms to make it more light (diet...), herbs and a little soy sauce.
400 g ground meat (beef)
2 tablespoons bacon cubes
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 parsley root, diced
2 shallots, diced
2 laurel leaves
3 sprigs thyme, 1 rosmary, 2 sage leaves, chopped
1 cup+ beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon flour (not heaped)
1 tablespoon tomatoe paste
300 g mixed wild mushrooms (frozen)
good pinch black pepper, gound
small pinch allspice, ground
Parmesan cheese, grated
First fry bacon cubes in a deep sauce pot, add meat and roast until crumbly and browned, add vegetables and let them roast until onions are translucent. Make a free space in the middle of the pot, add the tomatoe paste and let roast at this spot - only a little but roast it. Stir everything, add flour and roast a little more (at the bottom of the pot should be some brown roast marks). Deglace with broth and red wine and stir ans scrape well. Add herbs, laurel leaves and spices and a good pinch salt. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low heat 40 minutes (the longer the better). Add a little water or broth if it is way too thick and sticks to the pot bottom - stir occassionaly. There should not be that much cooking liquid. Add mushrooms and cook 5 more minutes. The ragout is rather thickly but the mushrooms will add more liquid. Adjust seasoning ( I took a little soy sauce too -so not italian..).
Serve with italian pasta: maccaroni or rigatoni and Parmesan cheese, grated.
I made a salad dish too:
radicchio, cut in thick stripes
1 small roman salad, cut in thick stripes
1 small red onion, sliced
8 walnuts, roughly crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
good pinch salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon french mustard
1 teaspoon honey (something sweet to break the bitterness of the radicchio)
black pepper, ground
Just stir the ingredients for dressing until well combined and toss with leaves, onion and walnuts.
I took walnuts my mother send me. She owns a big old walnut tree in her huge garden. The walnuts are small with a rather thin peel and they have a very destinct sweet and slightly bitter taste. A commercial variety which comes near this taste are noix de grenoble (french walnuts) which are quite expensive. Lucky she send me a lot.