Spaghetti Bolognese - the indulgent version

You might think that one Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is as much as a person could need, but I love pasta – really, really love it – and I have two favourite ways of making this gorgeous, infinitely crowd-pleasing dish, according to my mood. While the other (slightly healthier) version could be seen as my attempt to get pasta off the sofa and out the door with its trainers on, before coming home for some carrot sticks, this recipe wraps the spaghetti up in spoonfuls of rich, delicious sauce and gooey melted cheese and pays (almost) no attention to the five-a-day or calorie-counting. Sometimes, when it’s been a long day, this is exactly what I need. If I really feel like treating myself, I make some fresh pasta to go with it - try it, it's much easier than it sounds.

1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp pesto
Olive oil
200g lamb mince
150g tomato puree
A big glass of red wine
Salt and black pepper
Dried spaghetti, to serve

Serves 2, with some left over

This is a pretty simple recipe, but once you’ve made the sauce, it’ll really benefit from being left to simmer for a little while, so allow some extra time if you can. Start out by peeling and dicing the onion and the garlic, then pop in a large pan with a generous splosh of olive oil and the pesto. Stir well to spread the pesto about, then turn up the heat to medium and leave it to sizzle for a minute, until the onion is starting to soften and a wonderful smell of basil and garlic is rising from the pan. Add a generous sprinkling of oregano to the pan and the red wine.

Once the wine has mostly disappeared, add the mince to the pan and break it up with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper – one of this recipe’s key ingredients. Keep an eye on the meat as it browns (you don’t want to keep frying it once it turns from pink to brown as you’ll make it chewy) then add the tomato puree and about half a pint of cold water. Stir well until the water and the puree are nicely combined, then add a teaspoon of sugar (it might seem odd to put sugar in a savoury dish, but it helps counteract any sourness from the tomato puree). Pop a lid on and leave the sauce to bubble for about half an hour, or longer if possible.

When you’re ready to serve, grate a few handfuls of Parmesan into the sauce and stir it through – the wonderfully rich, salty flavour of this cheese will really give the sauce a kick. Finally, stir the spaghetti through the sauce and serve topped with plenty of melting cheddar, and a large glass of red wine on the side – a big plateful of comforting luxury.