There is NOTHING more comforting that a bowl of steaming wholewheat pasta with delicious homemade Bolognese sauce and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano. I learned to cook this recipe when I stayed with our Italian friends in Rome back in the mid 80s as an exchange high school student. So it has been well tested and tried! This version is made with venison but you can use your favorite minced meat. I usually make double the portion and freeze for a busy weekday night.

Venison Bolognese (serves 4)

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

2 sticks celery, thinly sliced

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1lb venison (or other meat), minced

1x 15oz (400g) can diced tomatoes

2/3 cup (150ml) red wine

2/3 cup (150ml) vegetable stock

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1 cup (250ml) milk

sea salt and cracked black pepper

a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

freshly cooked whole wheat pasta and grated parmesan to serve

Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and herbs and sauté until softened. Add the meat and cook until crumbly and browned. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, tomato paste and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Pour in the milk and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Serve with freshly cooked whole wheat pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.