Sweet on spag bol

Spaghetti bolognaise is one of the world’s most beloved recipes, but without a light touch and a little love it can easily lose its magic and sink into the realm of sub-standard suppers. No more! Just add 20g dark chocolate (about 2 squares) to your bolognaise sauce towards the end of its cooking time and you’ll notice a big difference in the end result. The chocolate helps bring all the flavours together into a deep, rich sauce that will find a permanent place in your repertoire. So here’s our recipe for this classic dish – now with a sweet side.

Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 3 hours

  • 20g butter 100g pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 300g coarsely minced beef
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) milk
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) white wine
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 20g dark chocolate
  • Pasta and parmesan cheese, to serve

Preheat the oven to 130°C. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over gentle heat and add bacon. Cook for a few minutes then add onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes. Add beef mince and cook, stirring constantly to break up the meat, for another 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper before adding the milk. Simmer until this has almost entirely evaporated (about 30 minutes). Now add the wine and tomatoes and stir well again. Cover the saucepan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Check every now and then to ensure the meat isn’t drying out. If it is, add a splash or two of water and stir well. As soon as you remove the saucepan from the oven, stir through the chocolate and set aside, covered for a moment. Serve with flat pasta such as fettuccine or spaghetti and a generous shaving of fresh parmesan cheese.

Top tip: This recipe calls for a long cooking time as it’s the best way to get ultimate results. But if you need yours on the table in less time, pop it on the stovetop and cook at medium-low heat for 45 minutes instead.

Spag bol is a fabulous favourite, but it can also be famously messy! Use Finish QUANTUM in your dishwasher to get an unbeatable shine every time.