Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
A good basic recipe that can be served tossed though spaghetti, or layered with pasta sheets to make lasagne.
1.5 kilograms beef mince
1/4 - 1/2 cup oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
6-8 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and diced
1/4 cup gravy powder, preferably beef flavoured
2 cups beef stock
2 cups tomato passata (puree)
1 bouquet garni
Heat a frying pan and brown the mince over a high heat. Do this in batches so that the mince does not stew. As each batch of mince browns, transfer it to a large lidded saucepan or flame-proof casserole - non-stick is ideal.
Add the oil to the pan and brown the onion and garlic over a moderate heat, not too high, so that the onion and garlic cook without burning. Add to the mince with the gravy powder, beef stock, tomato passata (puree) and bouquet garni. Season with pepper and bring slowly to the boil.
Lower the heat, cover, and simmer, for 45-60 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the mince tender, stir regularly. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Look for mince that has a coarser grind so that you can achieve a chunkier texture with the meat sauce.
Make a gutsy bouquet garni for the Spag Bol, using celery stalks and leaves, parsley stalks and leaves, lots of thyme sprigs, a small branch fresh rosemary and a couple of bay leaves.
Tomato passata is also called tomato puree. Add chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage or thyme to add extra flavour. Also a couple of rashers of diced bacon or pancetta, or 6-8 diced slices of salami add great flavour to this basic recipe.