Friday, 27 August 2010

Cooking: Real Italian Bolognaise by Matthew Evans

I was a little bit addicted to the Gourmet Farmer when it was on SBS earlier in the year, so was very happy to receive a copy of Matthew Evan's book The Real Food Companion from my lovely friend Penne. It's a wholesome, old style cookbook with very few photographs and lots of lovely recipes that have obviously been inspired by the seasonal produce from his small holding. It's a book so far that I'm really enjoying.

I'm trying to eat a lot of pasta at the moment for my marathon running, so this recipe for a 'Real Italian Bolognaise' immediately grabbed me. Not having an Italian grandmother, I'm not quite sure what a 'real' bolognaise is supposed to be.  However, this has a few interesting ingredients with milk and white wine in the recipe. It certainly created a tasty dish, that was a lot lighter than almost every other Italian bolognaise I've eaten.

Makes 2kg - unless you are marathon training or having twenty people round for dinner you might want to halve the recipe.

100g butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
5 celery sticks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 bay leaves
750g minced veal (I used beef as my butcher didn't have any veal on the day)
500g minced pork
1 tsp salt
500ml of whole milk
½ tsp ground nutmeg
500ml dry white wine
880g tinned chopped tomatoes

Heat the butter in a pan and fry the onion and parsley until translucent. Add the celery, carrot and bay leaves and cook for 2mins. Increase the heat and add the mince, salt and pepper. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated, this could take ages depending on how wide the pan is.

Stir in the milk , reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally until all the milk has evaporated. Add the nutmeg and wine, stirring until evaporated too. Add the tomatoes and 500ml (2 cups) of water. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer and cook for 2-3hrs, stirring from time to time. Add more water if needed.

Add just the seasoning to taste and serve with pasta. Mix sauce through the pasta, don’t just plonk it on top!


  1. Interesting additions of pork and milk. My usual recipe normally has plenty of liquid without adding any more. This might be an excuse to buy a new Le Creuset!

  2. Glad you're enjoying the book Richie!

  3. I loved that show ( and his nutty dog!)

  4. I really liked the show too, and been thinking of buying the book (it's massive!). I always like the mix of two different minces, this dish looks delicious!