Australian Spagbol is Italian Spaghetti Bolognese. This recipe is rich and thick, you'll be surprised that the ingredients are very easy to find.
This is probably the most common and favorite meat sauce pasta dish from where I grew up. In the Philippines, when you say “Spaghetti”, it is understood by default that it is cooked with red tomato sauce, ground beef, garlic, onions, and sometimes we put in sliced American Hotdogs and make the sauce a bit on the sweet side. This is what “Jollibee” is known for. However, this is not how I usually cook my “Spaghetti”. I like it the traditional Italian version. I like it tangy, peppery, and extra meaty. When I worked for an Italian Fine Dining in Australia, the Italians call it “Bolognese”, but Australians like to call it “Spag Bol”. Aussies tend to give words their own shortcuts, for example, Cabernet Sauvignon is “CabSauv”, the word afternoon is “Arvo”, barbecue is “Barbie”… I could go on and on with Australian shortcuts. But anyway, Spag Bol is one of my favorite pasta dishes to cook. It is easy and tasty, and I added some ingredients for extra flavor. This recipe is rich and thick, you’ll be surprised that the ingredients are very easy to find.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 400 g pasta (spaghetti, cooked as per package instructions)
- 1 bulb onion (chopped, small dice)
- a half bulb of garlic (minced)
- 300 g ground beef
- 4 slices of thinly cut bacon (sliced in cubes)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 700 g crushed tomatoes (canned, or tomato passata, or simple tomato sauce)
- 200 g button mushrooms (sliced)
- a pinch of oregano (dried)
- a pinch of basil (dried)
- 2 tbsp. liver spread
- 1 large capsicum (bell pepper)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
- a drizzle of olive oil
- Cook pasta as per package instructions. Set aside.
- On a sauce pan, drizzle olive oil in medium heat and saute garlic and onions.
- Add in tomato paste and cook until aromatic.
- Add in ground beef.
- When the ground beef is half cooked, toss in the bacon to give it an extra smokey flavor.
- Stir constantly, and then add liver spread and button mushrooms.
- You can pour in red wine at this point if you decide to put red wine. Cook until wine is reduced.
- Mix everything together and then add in crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce.
- Put a dash of salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, and stir the mixture until everything is well incorporated. Adjust the flavors with these 4 ingredients.
- Simmer the sauce for about 20-30 minutes, making sure the meat and tomatoes are cooked well.
- Add the capsicums last, so you won’t overcook them.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce.
- Transfer to a clean plate and serve.
- Best served with Parmesan Cheese and Garlic Bread on the side.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN VERSION OF SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE?
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS DO YOU ADD?
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!