Two things separate my spag bol from the thousands of versions out there. For one, I don't use spaghetti! Flat pasta is much better suited to meat sauces, so it's flat pasta that I use. Second, I toss my cooked pasta in a Parmesan and butter emulsion, creating a separate sauce around it, before topping withe the meat sauce.
The result is the best spag bol known to man!
- Fry the pancetta over a medium heat until golden, using its own rendered fat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then increase the heat and add the ground beef. Fry the beef until browned, then pour in the wine, bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half. Reduce the heat under the pan, then stir in the tomatoes and bay leaf.
- Season, then cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 2 hours, until the sauce is rich and thick, stirring occasionally.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water, then partially drain, keeping at least a ladle of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with half the grated Parmesan, the butter and a little of the pasta cooking water, to form an emulsified sauce.
- Divide the pasta between the plates and pour a ladle of sauce over the top (remove the bay leaf). Finish with a further scattering of cheese, a twist of black pepper and a basil spring.
Recipe by Richard H. Turner, from his cookbook, PRIME, published by Mitchell Beazley.
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