2017 – Week 1: Screw-ups Revisited – Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese.

52 Week Cooking Challenge

Week 1 – Screw-ups Revisited

Comforting, Creamy Bolognese

Week one of the 52 week cooking challenge and the theme is ‘Screw-Ups’ revisited. The idea being that we all mess up some dishes that we probably shouldn’t and we get frustrated. The first week of the new year is the time to have a clean slate and try again.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How can you screw up a bolognese? Well. The one thing that a good bolognese needs is time, and when we last cooked it we didn’t give it the time it deserved.

I was cooking for my girlfriend before we went to the cinema, and was in a bit of a rush. We had about an hour to get home from work, get ready to go to the cinema and have dinner. The only problem was that I was in the mood for bolognese which takes more than the hour I had available to me. I should have taken my own advice and cooked something else, because what came out was a watery mess. Don’t do the same as me; take your time and you will have a great, simple and impressive dish.

Ingredients (Serves 4):Β 

  • 2 tsbp Olive Oil
  • 100g smoked lardons
  • 1 onion
  • 400g minced steak
  • 115g button mushrooms
  • 120ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of sugar
  • black pepper
  • 90ml double cream
  • 450g tagliatelle pasta
  • freshly grated parmesan – to serve.


Β Prep: 15mins…Cooking time: 2 hours

  1. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy saucepan and fry the lardons for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and continue to fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
  2. Stir in the meat, breaking up any lumps, then cook for another 10 minutes, or until it is evenly coloured, stirring frequently until all the grains are separate. Stir in the mushrooms and fry, stirring for one minute.
  3. Add the wine, tomato puree, tomatoes and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and simmer very gently for 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Stir the cream into the ragΓΉ cover, and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the tagliatelle and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked but still with some bite. Some people may even say ‘Al Dente’. Italian and that, eh.
  7. Drain well, spoon the ragΓΉ over and serve with freshly grated parmesan.


InstaScranUK Tip… We added a bit of carrot at the same time as the mushrooms. It just gives it that bit of crunch. Also, you can keep behind some of the pasta water to add to your sauce at the end. It will give the sauce a lovely glisten and make it look really appetising.Β 

Remember – it’s not a hard dish. But take your time!


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