Bolog­nese, a child­hood sta­ple for many, yields to the de­sires of its cook. Here, the tra­di­tional spaghetti is re­placed with spi­ralised cour­gette to make a low-carb ver­sion that is

The Guardian - Cook - - TO FINISH -

olog­nese is some­thing that ev­ery­body recog­nises – and it’s one of the first things I learned to cook. My mother taught me to leave it for a day be­fore eat­ing it – 25 years of be­ing a chef later, I know why she did that. Any kind of stew is bet­ter the next day. We do a lot of ra­gus at home now. I’m a big fan of minced beef, but I like to use pork for my bolog­nese. It has a slightly lighter flavour, which lends it­self to dif­fer­ent herbs, sage and mint in par­tic­u­lar.

BGreat in spring and sum­mer. I grew up in Glouces­ter, in a small semi-de­tached three-bed house in Abbey­dale, on a 1960s or 1970s es­tate out­side the city cen­tre. It was a very nor­mal, sin­gle-par­ent back­ground. My mum wasn’t left­field – the home was dec­o­rated in off-white and beiges, fairly stan­dard.

We were al­ways well lookedafter, al­ways com­fort­able. We ate at the din­ing ta­ble for tea, even if it was just the three of us. She’d make bolog­nese ev­ery Wed­nes­day for Thurs­day night’s tea.

My mum had two jobs, one dur­ing the day, then an­other at night. So, from the time I was about 14, I’d cook for my brother Sam. Easy things such as fish-fin­ger sand­wiches; noth­ing cre­ative. We were hun­gry teenagers.

Sam and I are three years apart. At school we didn’t re­ally hang out, but we were close. We still are. We’d play foot­ball to­gether on the back lawn or com­puter games in­side. Ev­ery Sun­day morn­ing, I’d have rugby train­ing (I played front row – tight­head prop) and lunch after that was al­ways bril­liant. Half the team would come back to the house with us, so Mum would have to knock some­thing up. If we were lucky it’d be a joint of meat. More of­ten than not though, money was short so she’d roast a roll of sausage. Ei­ther way, there’d be all the veg – car­rots, broc­coli,

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