Authentic Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Spaghetti bolognese or ‘spag bol’ as it’s often known, is one of Italy’s most loved exports but the dish we all know and love has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Bologna, Italy.
Below we will show you how to create an authentic spaghetti bolognese that will feed four and take a little over two hours to create!

What you’ll need

2 large, chopped onions
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 chopped carrots
6 strips of pancetta
A stick of celery
1kg of steak mince
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
Red wine
800g of tagliatelli

How to cook it

  • Heat a large glug of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the bacon until golden.
  • Throw in the onions and garlic and cook until they have softened.
  • Increase the heat and add the mince, cook until browned.
  • Pour in two glasses of red wine and cook until the sauce has reduced by a third.
  • Lower the temperature and add the tomatoes, celery and a pinch of salt.
  • Cover the pan and allow to cook for around 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook the spaghetti in salted water. Once cooked drain the water off and dish the pasta onto your plates.
  • Add your bolognese sauce to the top of the pasta before finishing with a pinch of pepper and a grating of parmesan.

Make it even more authentic

If you would like to make your bolognese dish even more authentic why not try using some thick tagliatelle pasta instead of spaghetti? According to Italian traditionalists, any bolognese sauce should be accompanied by tagliatelle pasta and not spaghetti!
Image courtesy of flickr user avlxyz.

A Traditional Irish Stew Recipe with Guiness

With the nights drawing in and the weather getting colder by the day we thought it was the perfect time to share with you our recipe for Irish stew, it’s the perfect comfort food for a cold winters evening!
The recipe below takes around 2 hours to cook and should serve 4 hungry adults.

What you’ll need

600 grams of chuck beef stewing meat
6 cloves of pressed garlic
1.5 litres of rich beef stock
250ml of Guiness
250ml red wine
1.2kg potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
6 peeled and chopped carrots
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

How to cook it

  • To begin, heat some olive oil in a large, heavy stewing pot. Add some salt to your beef and fry the pieces until brown.
  • Once your beef is nicely browned add in the garlic, beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce. Stir until the ingredients are mixed together, cover and allow to simmer on a medium heat for one hour.
  • While the meet is cooking, add some butter to a frying pan and sauté the onion, potatoes and carrots until golden (around 20 minutes). Leave to one side until the meat has been cooking for an hour.
  • Once the meat has been cooking for an hour, add the vegetables to your meat and simmer, uncovered, for around 45 minutes.
  • Add some salt and pepper to taste and serve with a fresh crusty roll.

Make life a little easier

If you love this stew as much as we do you can make the stew in large batches and freeze it. It should keep for a few months in the freezer and is perfect for a quick, hearty meal after a long day at work.
Image courtesy of flickr user Charles Haynes.

Simple Indian Chicken Curry Recipe

The humble chicken curry has quickly become one of the UK’s favourite dishes and has become as popular as the traditional Sunday dinner in many households. But rather than cooking a boring English version, why not try a traditional Indian chicken curry the next time you fancy something a little spicy!
The recipe below takes around an hour and a half to cook and should feed between 3 and 4 adults.

What you’ll need

2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods
Cumin seeds
1 finely chopped, medium onion
6 chopped garlic cloves
Ground turmeric
Ground coriander
Chilli powder
2 puréed tomatoes
450g chicken
Garam masala

How to cook it

  • Start by adding a large glug of oil to a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the garlic, cinnamon, cardamom and a tea spoon of cumin seeds and cook for around 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion and cook until soft and golden.
  • Stir in a table spoon of ginger and coriander, the garlic, half a tea spoon of chilli and turmeric and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid in the pan has dried out (around 10 minutes should do it).
  • Pop the chicken in and cook for around 3 minutes until browned.
  • Pour in around 300ml of water and allow to cook on a gentle heat for around 20 minutes.
  • Check the chicken is thoroughly cooked before adding the garam masala and serving with rice or a traditional Indian flat bread.

Make it vegetarian

As a simple way to get more vegetables into your diet why not create your own veg curry? All you need to do is substitute the chicken for some par boiled cauliflower, broccoli and potatoes for a tasty dish packed with nutrients.

A Traditional Lasagne Recipe from Italy

Throw out the lasagne ready meal and treat the whole family to a gorgeous, traditional lasagne recipe, direct from Italy!
This is a fairly slow-cook recipe and takes a little over three hours to create, but it’s well worth the wait, promise. Your traditional lasagne should provide at least six servings and is perfect for a Saturday night in front of the TV with a big chunk of garlic bread.

What you’ll need

750g of lean steak mince
4 rashers of chopped smoked bacon
1 onion and 1 carrot finely chopped
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
400ml of passata
A glass of red wine
50g butter
50g plain flower
600ml of whole milk
Enough lasagne sheets to cover your dish three times
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

How to cook it

  • To begin, add a large glug of olive oil to a pan and fry the onion until soft, then add the carrot and bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the mince and cook until browned.
  • Pour in the wine and passata and season with a touch of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for an hour or until the mixture is quite dry.
  • Whilst your mixture is cooking, add some salted water to a pan and bring to the boil. Carefully blanch the pasta sheets, a few at a time, for 1 minute. Separate the sheets and allow to dry on some greaseproof paper.
  • Now, to make your béchamel sauce, add the butter to a pan and gently whisk in the flour. Continue to stir and cook the sauce on a gentle heat for around 2 minutes. Then gradually add the milk whilst continuing to stir, bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick.
  • To create your masterpiece, add a third of the tomato and beef mixture to the bottom of a deep baking tray. Top with a layer of pasta and add some béchamel sauce and parmesan shavings. Repeat this two times, ensuring you save plenty of béchamel sauce and parmesan for the top layer!
  • Pop your lasagne into a pre-heated oven at 200C and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, you are just waiting for the lasagne to turn golden before removing.
  • Allow to rest for a few minutes and then tuck in!

Try something different

If you are looking to mix things up a little, why not try adding some BBQ chicken instead of beef? All you need to do is marinate your chicken in a tangy BBQ sauce and then add to your tomato sauce in place of the minced beef.
Image courtesy of flickr user david55king

A Simple Chicken, Prawn and Chorizo Paella Recipe

Bring a taste of Spain to your home with this simple paella recipe that combines chicken, prawns and chorizo into a mouthwatering dish that is perfect for parties!
This dish takes about an hour to create and should serve about eight.

What you’ll need

Chicken, prawn and chorizo paella
A simple chicken, prawn and chorizo paella recipe – the perfect party dish!

1 thinly sliced chorizo sausage
3 chicken breast fillets, chopped into bite size chunks
1 pack of large, pre-cooked, tiger prawns
2 large, diced onions
400g arborio paella rice
White wine
Olive Oil
1.25 litres of chicken or vegetable stock

How to cook it

  • Add a glug of olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed frying pan and heat on a medium to high setting. Add your thinly sliced chorizo to the pan and allow to cook on both sides until golden and starting to go black. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo whilst leaving the oil and chorizo juice in the pan.
  • Add the diced chicken to the pan and cook until lightly golden, the meat doesn’t have to be cooked thoroughly at this stage. Remove the chicken and keep until later.
  • Add your diced onions to the pan and cook until brown and soft.
  • Now add your rice, two teaspoons of paprika and about 200ml of white wine.
  • Bring to the boil and allow the mixture to cook for around 2 minutes.
  • Now add your chicken and chorizo to the mixture and stir in your stock.
  • Reduce to a low heat and allow the paella to cook for 20 minutes without stirring.
  • Finally, add your prawns to the dish and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or until the remaining mixture has been fully absorbed.

Freshen things up a bit

If you would like to freshen this dish up a little, let your paella cool, add some freshly chopped tomatoes, peppers and cucumber and serve on a bed of lettuce.
Image courtesy of flickr user S. Navarro

The perfect recipe for a tasty Ratatouille dish

Ratatouille Dish

Ratatouille is a traditional French dish which packs plenty of vegetables into a tasty meal for the entire family to enjoy. This rustic recipe will serve four, is ready in about 40 minutes and packs in a massive 4 of your 5-a-day quota for fruit and veg!

Ratatouille Dish
A traditional, tasty ratatouille recipe

What you’ll need

4 large tomatoes
2 peppers
4 courgettes
2 aubergines
1 diced onion
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil

How to cook it

  • Prepare your vegetables by chopping your aubergines, courgettes and peppers into bite size chunks.
  • Quarter your tomatoes and scrape out the seeds before roughly chopping into smaller pieces.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan over a medium flame and then add a large glug of olive oil.
  • Brown your aubergines, courgettes and peppers on each side for 5 minutes or until soft. TIP – Be careful not to overcook the vegetables at this stage.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside for later. Add in a little more oil if required and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in a handful of basil, a pinch of sugar and your tomatoes and allow to cook for a minute.
  • Return your vegetables to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. TIP – now’s the time to add a little salt and pepper to your meal if required.
  • After 5 minutes of cooking it’s time to dish up and enjoy!

Spice things up a little

If you would like to create your own version of this traditional ratatouille dish why not add some chicken, chilli and fresh noodles for a modern twist on a French classic.
Image courtesy of flickr user jplahm