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Spaghetti Bolognese is probably one of the most well known household dishes in Europe, but despite its popularity it isn’t a true Italian dish. In the Bologna region of Italy, Bolognese (or ragù) is normally served with tagliatelle because spaghetti hails from Naples in Campania. Food historians believe that the combination of tomato sauce with mince and spaghetti is a British/American interpretation of Ragu alla Bologna.
Heat a saucepan over a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook without colouring for a few minutes, then add the beef mince and season with salt and pepper
Cook the beef until browned all over then stir in the tomato purée followed by the tinned tomatoes. Bring to a boil then let simmer for around 30 minutes – add a splash of water if it is looking a bit dry
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of seasoned water to the boil and add the pasta. Stir to stop the pasta from sticking and cook for 7–10 minutes
To check the pasta is cooked, taste a strand – if the center is still hard give it a couple more minutes. When it is fully cooked, drain in a colander and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent the spaghetti from sticking together
Chop the basil and stir through the Bolognese sauce. Divide the spaghetti between 4 plates and spoon the Bolognese on top. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese