A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: January’s Bolognese


I had The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater on my wishlist for quite some time, and was lucky enough to receive it for Christmas. I just love the way Nigel writes about food, and his simplistic approach to cooking using seasonal, fresh ingredients suited for the time of year and mood.

I decided it would be fun to feature one recipe per  month on my blog–a recipe that Nigel also made that same month, or some sort of dish inspired by his year in the kitchen. The book is a diary, after all, so not everything is a recipe so much as a log of what he ate.

Everything Nigel ate in January sounded pretty mouth-watering, but I decided to go with a bolognese to kick off my year with Nigel—well, “a really good bolognese” according to  him.  I’ve only made bolognese once before (I tend to stick to Greek kima, or meatsauces with less veggies), but I love how comforting dishes like this are. I don’t normally indulge in things like pancetta and cream during the week (nor do I normally make things that have to simmer for two hours on a Monday…), but what the hell.  I even bought some fresh pasta to make this even better, since I  haven’t made my own pasta yet.

Nigel is right. This is a really good bolognese. The flavor of the wine, tomatoes and bay cook down and marry so well together.  The cream at the end makes this even more indulgent, and pairs so well with the nutmeg.

I did lighten it up a tad by using less butter and very lean ground beef. We also got six servings of this instead of four, which means a couple of great lunches for work!

I’m submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, a great event started by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast and hosted this week by Erin, The Skinny Gourmet.


A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: January’s Bolognese

  • Sounds great! Lovely photos, by the way!

  • Looks good and hearty.

  • I haven’t heard about Nigel Slater but this pasta dish sounds super Elly! I think I will use it for my next macaroni dish 😀

  • Glorious photos and I love the addition of portobello mushrooms, making an already rich dish even richer. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  • This is a great January dish (although I bet it tastes good year-round)!

  • Elly, that’s a kick-a$$ Bolognese…nicely snapped and it jumps from the screen.

    Leftovers like this are never refused either!

  • It does sound like a perfectr pasta dish to me as well:D

  • bmk

    That looks delicious!

  • joelen

    Yum – I’m a big fan of bolognese and this recipe looks delicious!

  • Erin

    This looks sooo good! i can’t wait to make it! I star so many of your post that i gave you an award!

  • I’m excited to see more recipes from Nigel! (And you of course)

  • Mmmm, I have to see this right before dinner!

  • Ivy

    Haven’t heard of him either but the dish sounds great.

  • Elly, this looks AMAZING!!!!

  • I look forward to another year of your great cooking!

  • Did you save any of the leftovers for me, Elly? This looks wonderful!

  • mmm…looks delicious.

  • Oh! Delicious Elly! I’m all for this and can’t wait to try it!

  • This looks so great!

  • This bolognese sounds good. I like the use of the portobello mushrooms.

  • This looks fabulous Elly. I love Nigel Slater’s writing too, and I have this book, although I have only tried his cakes. Will have to dig it out and take a look at some of his savoury offerings.

  • giz

    The long simmering on the stove is all the rage for 2009. What was old becomes new again and there’s something about the look of everything together that gives it that incredible quality.

  • EllieH

    Hi Elly,

    I made this this weekend and it is decadent and fabulous. I followed the directions exactly except happened to have creme fraiche and used that at the end instead of heavy cream. I’m sure it didn’t make much of a difference.

    Thanks for a keeper.


    • So glad you enjoyed it, Ellie. I definitely plan on making this bolognese a staple. I bet the creme fraiche was even more luxurious!