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
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,