Can you see the below face? I’m sure you can. It’s fairly large.
That is the rueful smile of someone who went for a couple of drinks on Friday night (the Perseverance in Marylebone, it’s quite good but the homemade crisps are not) and who stumbled home in a dizzy whirl of pissed-ness and who, subsequently, failed to acknowledge the existence of Saturday in any way other than through the haze of medicinal analgesics and pain. I don’t drink very often anymore, and really very rarely to excess. It’s good to be reminded why.
So today I am rueful, I have completed the requisite self-bullying, hung up some washing, done some grocery shopping and made the boyfriend a ham and cheese bagel to eat in the bath. I’ve done all of that rather gingerly. I need to eat something proper tonight, however, as does the boyfriend (courtesy of having completed The London Classic on a bike of some sort…it’s a fairly long ride), and so I have made my bolognese sauce. It’s the best. If there’s one thing I cannot stand it’s anaemic bolognese sauce. Mine is not. Mine is blood red and tasty like vampires.
packet of mince
2 tins chopped tomatoes
bacon/lardons or similar
mushrooms, if you like them
Oh, and some of the above, too. I can’t believe I’m sharing this with you all. This is a national secret, my bolognese. My alcohol-addled brain must be misfiring.
Make a soffritto. That’s fancy Italian for finely chop the onion, carrot and celery and throw in a pan with some olive oil and the finely chopped garlic. Cook it off, gently, till the onion goes a bit translucent.
Add the bacon or other smoky pork offering of your choice. Ideally it’d be a bit more finely chopped than demonstrated above. Whilst this is all cooking a bit, chop up your peppers and mushrooms. Careful with that knife, they’re dangerous. Add the dried herbs and chilli flakes.
Add the mince and chop it all about over a slightly higher heat, till browned. Don’t leave ANY BLOODY MINCEY LUMPS in it. Lumps are foul.
After the mince has browned and you have thoroughly de-lumped it, add all the other stuff – big squeeze of tomato paste (I usually use about half a tube), both tins of tomatoes, about a tin-ful of red wine, salt and pepper and the mushies and peppers. Grate in nutmug. Bring to the simmer. Let it simmer for a long while.
When you think you’ve simmered it enough, you haven’t. Basically it’ll look like the above, but get deeper red in colour, delicious-er in flavour. If you think it’s drying out a bit, add a splash of water.
Don’t let it be sloppy. It should be all unctious and slippery. Season to taste. Eat with a pasta shape of your choosing.
Oh – I found this at the supermarket. I bought some. It’s probably a terrible idea but I’ll let you know when we get around to eating supper. I need to go lie down a while now.
I’ll leave you with a pic of the sunbathing dogs. Sweet. Also, not hungover.