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Wow what a snowy weekend! I had a lovely birthday party last night only to be met with a blizzard on the way home. It was a Scott of the Antarctic exploration for sure but we made it back in (almost) one piece. In lieu of more epic partaying, we invited people over for lunch as well today. The only problem was we have absolutely no food in the house so an early morning trip to the station M&S was in order.

That place has no food at all! Except sandwiches, and a lot of random jars of marinades. So we went for a couple of packets of steak mince and some pasta and decided to make my often-cooked bolognese. I don’t want to be drawn in to the debate over red v white wine, types of mince, addition of milk etc and I’m sure this isn’t a perfect authentic bolognese (whatever that is) but it tastes great on a snowy sunday. If you’re interested though I say white wine, and milk, with a chunk of parmesan rind thrown in for good measure. I also like to add a very finely diced aubergine as I find it soaks up the beef oil, but they’re a rarity in M&S so a courgette had to do.

Pasta Bolognese – Serves 8

  • 1kg of minced beef (I go for the Aberdeen Angus lean stuff)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 courgette (aubergine), finely diced
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2-4 rashers smoked bacon (depending on thickness)
  • Half a glass of milk
  • A glass of white wine
  • A splash of pastis
  • Mixed herbs
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Tsp brown sugar
  • 1 beef oxo cube
  • A small square of parmesan rind (or the bit that is always left, that you can’t grate any more from)

First fry the onion until soft in a large frying pan, then add the diced bacon. Add half the beef and brown it. Put the whole lot into a large pan and brown the rest of the beef, add this to the pan with a crumbled up oxo cube (for extra beefyness). Add the cans of tomatoes, a good dash of balsamic and another of pastis (I find the aniseed really helps to cut through the fattiness of the beef, and tastes nice too). Add the wine and herbs, stir well and bring to boil.

Simmer gently for about an hour then add the milk and the chunk of parmesan rind.  Leave to simmer gently for another hour, then skim some of the fat from the top and discard. Add the diced courgettes and leave to cook for another 20 mins. If you want to you can find what’s left of the cheese and take it out. And eat it 🙂

Serve with pasta. Our jam pan came in very handy for serving it up…

Eat with some black pepper and grated cheese. Yum.

Also this week: It was my birthday! And it snowed! What more could you want? Easy, this amazing chocolate Guinness cake that Tom made for me. A-ma-zing… 

Taken from my new iPhone- squeeee!

We’ve also been to Edinburgh, hence the lack of posts lately. Good times. Ax