I’ve heard people say they don’t like bolognese sauce made in the Thermomix, because it’s bland, and turns to mush. Well, I beg to differ. You can’t blame the Thermomix for lack of flavour – that depends on what you put in, just as it does when you cook in a saucepan on the stovetop. And if it’s the texture that’s bothering you, let me reassure you it doesn’t have to be ‘mush’!
This is basically how I make my bolognese sauce; you can add to or subtract from it to make it the way you like it. You can use lamb, turkey or chicken mince instead of beef if you like. Or if you want a vegetarian version, leave out the meat and add extra veges (eggplant and/or orange sweet potato is nice), and more mushrooms. For a grain free version, serve on raw zucchini ‘noodles’, or steam thin strips of cabbage in the Varoma while you cook the sauce in the bowl.
If you like, you can mince your own meat first. I find I can often get a bulk rump cheaper per kilo than minced beef, so this is a great way to save money. It also means you can get a ‘chunkier’ sauce if that’s what you want. (And it’s also good to know that your mince is just ‘meat’, and doesn’t have lots of fat, gristle and water mixed in to bulk it out… and maybe other hidden additives and preservatives as well!)
To mince your meat: Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes (semi-frozen is easiest), weigh in 300-400g, and mince by setting the speed dial to the closed lid position and pressing the Turbo button 3 or 4 times. This will be chunkier than you probably want it, but remember it will break down a little during cooking.
- 1 large onion, halved
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic (to taste)
- 30g olive oil
- 500g vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
- 150g carrots, quartered
- 1 celery stick, quartered (including leaves)
- 100g zucchini, quartered
- half a red capsicum (opt)
- a large handful fresh basil, some fresh oregano & a sprinkle of fresh rosemary
- OR 2 tsp of dried Italian herbs
- 400g minced beef (or lamb, turkey or chicken)
- 100g thickly sliced mushrooms
- 60g semi-dried tomatoes (opt.)
- 100-150g sliced Kalamata olives (opt.)
- 120g tomato paste
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbspn Rapadura
- 2 Tbspns vegetable stock paste (or salt to taste)
- 50g red wine or water
- Chop onion & garlic on speed 5 for 3 seconds
- Add oil and cook for 3 minutes at 100C, reverse, speed 1
- Add vegetables & herbs and chop roughly - speed 5 for 8 seconds; or chop longer for 'grated' veges
- Add remaining ingredients and cook for 25-30 minutes at 100C, reverse, speed soft
If you’re cooking for less people, you can halve the recipe, add 100g water, and after 10 minutes cooking time add 250g raw pasta to the sauce and cook for 8-10 minutes more. (Make sure it’s on reverse, or you WILL have mush!)
So there’s some bolognese-sauce-making hints – tweak to taste!