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Andiswa’s Spaghetti Bolognese

Andiswa’s Spaghetti Bolognese

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This is the first Italian meal I ever cooked and got famous for with my family and friends, it’s a meal I made for first time visitors with confidence. However, what made me prouder of it was when it impressed my friend Brenda, who, at the time was visiting for the first time from Gauteng, after we’ve been virtual friends for a long time chatting everyday on Fringe and Gtalk. For the first in my home cooking life I was nervous to cook for her, because I knew she’s not easily impressed like me, and I feared if she didn’t like it she will be brutally honest about it (a trait I love about her). To my surprise, she loved it, a lot. And from that day I knew I can cook {laughs}.IMG_5032

Over the years, I started taking cooking more seriously, by buying cookbooks and researching well the cultures and origins of whatever sparks my joy at that particular period, and because of this I started experimenting with other cuisines, leaving behind what I knew how to make well, such as this Bolognese. It’s been such a great ride of learning (and of course, eating and sharing), although I feel I haven’t learned as much as I would like to, I’ve since realised that it’s an everyday thing, that requires consistency, love, passion and patience. Which brings me to the new version of my all-time Bolognese.

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I have been experimenting a lot during this lockdown, sometimes, I just take a picture to remember the meal, without writing the recipe down. I must also thank Brenda for this, because in the past I would want to bake something in the middle of the night, while chatting with her, when I would tell her that I feel like trying a pound cake recipe but then go on to sabotage myself with limiting thinking and many excuses, she would say, “do it! “ and go on to say “every time you feel like baking or cooking, do it! Don’t ask questions, do it.” – during this lockdown I decided to cook for myself, just me, no clients in my head, and no thinking of others, just me, my soul and palate, and to return to the love of it. More so, to remember what sparked my joy when it was just me, the stove and the pot. And somehow, Brenda’s voice kept ringing sound in my head saying “do it”.

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This brought me to the creation of Andiswa’s Spaghetti Bolognese, and I just had to name it after myself of course, because I loved it so much and for the first time I believe I felt the pleasure others feel when I have cooked something they loved. I just couldn’t stop eating it, I was so happy with how delicious it was, and how all the ingredients came together so lusciously. Yet, I did a 11km jog after eating so much, just to ease my conscious {laughs}. Also, the reason I call this Andiswa’s Spaghetti Bolognese is because it’s not made the Italian traditional way. Mine has a French basic, which is, a crème fraiche that I’ve come to love and look for any excuse to use it in meals and bakes. It has my personal favourite, Mrs Balls Chutney and I think I’m not the only one in south Africa who loves it, and lemon juice, another ingredient I look for any excuse to use. And all of these ingredients came together so beautifully, and somehow still had the original taste of my first version but elevated. The secret is always love, however with this recipe it’s important to season (with salt and pepper) at every stage little by little (while you keep tasting to check seasoning and stirring now and then), to develop the flavour gradually to your satisfaction.

I hope any of you who try this recipe will love it as much as I did, and I’m always available to answer questions in the comments. This recipe serves 4. Happy Cooking:-)

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INGREDIENTS

500g Beef Mince, lean

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Butter

½ Large Onion, finely diced

1 Large Carrot, finely diced

2 Celery Fingers, finely diced

½ Large Green Pepper, finely diced

2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

2 x 400g Diced Tomato Cans

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Fruit Chutney

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Cup Pasta Water, or as needed

1 Teaspoon Smoked Chillies

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper

1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, finely chopped, extra for serving

4 Thyme Sprigs

1\4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated), extra for serving

3 Tablespoons Crème Fraiche

400g Uncooked Spaghetti (see note 2)

METHOD
  1. Preheat a large stainless-steel deep pan (see note 1) on medium-high heat until its fairly hot, add mince, spread it out in the pan and let it brown from the bottom until the all the juices come out for about 5 minutes, season with salt and turn to brown the top side for another 5 minutes or until it browns. Break the mince up with a spatula, then transfer it into separate pan.
  2. In the same pan used to brown the mince, heat olive oil, add butter and allow it to melt, then add onion, carrots, garlic, celery and green pepper, season with salt and pepper, and cook all for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add all the herbs and smoked chillies, stir, and return the mince to the pan. Add tomato paste, season with salt and pepper, stir until the tomato paste coats all the mince. Add the canned tomatoes, stir and let it cook for 15 minutes, checking half way through, stir.
  4. Add fruit chutney, sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and pour in 1\2 cup of pasta water, stir, and cook for another 15 minutes.
  5. Add crème fraiche, parmesan cheese and the remaining pasta water, stir, check seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until, check seasoning by tasting, and adjust accordingly, also if you feel that the Bolognese is too thick you can loosen with more pasta water.
  6. Add the cooked spaghetti into the Bolognese, mix it well then dish into your pasta dishes, serve with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil

 

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NOTES:
  1. Use a pan with a lid, after Step 3 before to close the pan with a lid, open when stirring or adding another ingredient then close it again until the cooking is done.
  2. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions or as Italians say “until al dente”

 

 

 

2 replies »

  1. Haha now the world will know me as a very difficult to impress, but I did say I am a food critic even before I knew I loved eating. Thank you for this post, it brought memories of that day you cooked this meal and how I went for seconds immediately:-)

    I need to learn to ring the same words of “ Do it” to my own head as I sometimes need them, and I am in awe that they still resonate with you despite the time apart and how far back I said them and you are evolving given that you are sharing a tweaked version of the recipe.

    This is art and your love shared. I think we can copy this and try at home however we wish to have your zest, love, and patience with food it’s a skill and passion.

    I over analyze things and I don’t read about food in this blog here, I read Hope, Resilience, Strength and willingness to learn and TRY. I read and sense Pride and achievement of and exercise but also Overcoming.

    Soul shared post and art about food. I can only imagine what people feel while sitting on around a table And eating this mean, this is Healing.

    You have cracked the code about food, and you heal through it. This is it! Purpose!!!
    Wow! I am proud and happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh my God, reading this made me cry tears of joy, because I feel naked like my heart and soul is on the platter. I’ve achieved so much because you pushed me and never gave up on me, so believe me, time apart has no measure of the encouraging words, and support you kept giving me. Especially since I doubted myself for such a longtime, but all of that was leading to this point. The universe was conspiring in our favour to this moment, to say to you; you are the best human being and friend anyone could ever have in their lives, and because you are such a jam and treasure, you will never be for everyone, and those with eyes and hearts of gold will see you and feel your presence. To me it says, finally you’ve got this, and you have healed, this is your passion, harness it and share with world. From the bottom of my heart I’m grateful for all that you’ve done and continue to do❤️

      Like

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