Cooking With Emilia: Bol, no Spag
It's long been a dream of mine to be known for my cooking skills. Realistically, I know my grasp of cooking is only slightly above average, but I'm really determined to be known for at least one thing, whether it be my off-beat sense of humour or my semi-famous ragu recipe. I'm an overachiever, so I'm aiming for both in this video.
If you've ever wanted to make a ragu that can — in my own words — wow a crowd, listen up. This recipe is spicy, flavourful, and can hold its own, whether it's paired with pasta or eaten by itself. I present to you, my "Bol, no Spag."
Bol, No Spag. Time — 1.5-2 hrs. Difficulty — Beginner.
- 1lb ground pork (80% lean, 20% fat)
- 4oz pancetta
- 16fl.oz crushed, unsalted plum tomatoes with basil
- 2 leeks, trimmed and washed
- 1 shallot
- 3 medium cloves of garlic
- 1 pack fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 2/3 cup each of diced carrot, celery, and onion
- Olive oil
- Ghee, or butter
- Salt and pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 medium bay leaves
- 1 cup red wine (or a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar)
- Concentrated tomato paste
- One serving of chicken bouillon
- Add a dash of olive oil and a touch of ghee to a stockpot. Add minced garlic, leeks, and shallots to sizzling oil.
- Once the garlic, leeks, and shallots are fairly translucent, add the pancetta.
- Julienne the shiitake mushrooms. When the pancetta is crispy, add the mushrooms to the stock pot.
- When the mushrooms are tender, add your mirepoix — the diced onion, celery, and carrot.
- Combine the tomato paste, bouillon, herbs, salt, and pepper with a dash of olive oil. Pour into the vegetable mix. Once fully incorporated, add half of the red wine and wait for the alcohol to evaporate.
- Add the ground pork.
- Re-season. Add the remaining half of the wine, making sure that the alcohol has evaporated.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaves. Leave to simmer for at least one hour.
- Remove bay leaves. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve either on its own, or over al dente spaghetti.
Remember — this recipe is just a guideline. Always remember to taste your ragu at every step of the way (except after adding the ground pork — you should wait until it's fully cooked before tasting). If you're feeling really fancy, grate some parmesan and sprinkle fresh basil on top. For extra points, chiffonade the basil. It's easier than it looks: roll the fresh leaves into a tube, then cut into small ribbons.