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OK, Gastronuts, let's find out what our task is this week.
Who can make the ultimate spag bol?
The Gastronuts cooking up a storm with me today are...
I love spaghetti bolognese because when my mum cooks it,
she cooks all the juice which comes from the mince.
And it all goes on to the pasta and it's really nice,
because you've got pasta with a bit of flavour.
I love it.
I would be most surprised if my spaghetti bolognese
had chocolate sauce instead of the tomato sauce,
monkey brains for meat and bananas.
Coming up on today's show,
the Gastronuts serve up their own unique versions of spag bol.
I've never seen a bolognese in my life with egg in it.
They discover the most fun way of turning tomatoes into puree.
And we find out which of the Gastronuts
can cook up the best bolognese.
The ultimate bolognese was made by...
All that's coming up later. First of all, spaghetti bolognese.
Now hundreds of people apply to be on Gastronuts
and time and time again they all say that spaghetti bolognese
is their favourite food.
So we thought it's only fair to devote a whole programme
to one of the nation's best-loved foods.
Now who loves spaghetti bolognese?
Why do you like it?
It's just really tasty
and I always burn my tongue because I want to eat it quick.
I like it when it has a bit of butter in it.
I like it on cold days.
You know it'll something really hot, it makes you all hot and warm inside.
Exactly, it's a comfort food, isn't it?
So in today's show you are going to be competing against each other
to create the ultimate spaghetti bolognese.
Whoever cooks the best spaghetti bolognese
wins this magnificent trophy.
The first task is to work out
what goes into a fantastic spaghetti bolognese.
Are you ready for this?
OK, Gastronuts. Before you lies a sea of ingredients.
Now some of these always go into a traditional spaghetti bolognese.
Some of them sometimes go in, and some of them are completely bonkers
and should never go anywhere near a spaghetti bolognese.
I'm not going to tell you what they are.
You're going to need to choose all your own ingredients
and then cook them up as best you can
to make something that tastes really good.
Everyone go ahead, choose what you want.
We all love spag bol, but do we actually know what goes in it?
I've presented the Gastronuts
with traditional ingredients, like minced beef and tomatoes.
And red herrings, like anchovies, tomato soup and even eggs.
I've also left the couple of cheats, like packet sauces to tempt them.
Will they make an authentic bolognese,
or serve up a dog's dinner?
-What is that
Loz, what are you picking up there?
I've just got some diced onions.
Very good. What have you got? Quite crafty, isn't it?
-Spaghetti bolognese mix.
-Spaghetti bolognese mix, OK.
-OK, is everyone happy?
-Everyone got everything they need?
OK, guys. Are you ready for this?
The pressure's going to start getting high now.
Everyone to your stations.
The Gastronuts have made their choices and ended up
with some rather quirky ingredients for a spaghetti bolognese.
Lauren has opted for minced beef and minced pork, which should be fine,
but also some eggs. Mamma Mia.
Tom has gone for standard ingredients,
apart from those olives.
Never seen those in a spag bol before.
Michael's selection includes eggs, lemons and tarragon.
This could be weird and wild.
Dami's kept it simple by choosing tomatoes and beef mince.
And while her choice of tagliatelle may seem a mistake,
as we'll soon find out, it's not such a bad idea.
Your 45 minutes starts now.
You've started off with egg.
-Have you seen your folks making spaghetti bolognese at home?
Have you been paying attention?
I have been paying attention.
Michael's got an egg in his spaghetti bolognese.
Now maybe when I taste it it will taste delicious,
but I suspect that's going to be pretty grim.
OK, Loz. You're getting right in there. What are you doing here?
I've got some pork and beef mince and I've just mixed them together.
I'm getting them as brown as possible and I've just stuck the spaghetti in.
-So now and again I'm just going to mix that.
OK, Dami. You've already got everything stewing away there.
What have you put in there?
Pork, rosemary, tomato puree, and beef mince.
Brilliant. Is that a good smell?
Is that the sort of thing you're after?
-What's happening now?
-I've put the meat in to fry a bit.
You've made them into balls, haven't you?
'I may have to remind Michael we're making spaghetti bolognese,
'not that other Italian classic, er, omelette and meat balls.'
I wish that I hadn't mixed the pasta in, because I've seen my mum do that,
but it would look better for layout if I put it there, then the sauce.
And then put the sauce on.
'Four Gastronuts, four very different sets of ingredients,
'and now four versions of spaghetti bolognese
'for me to give my verdict on.'
So, Dami, let's start off with yours.
I would say it doesn't taste of that much.
Did you taste this as you went along?
No. Essential stuff. As you're going along - a lot of people are afraid
of touching their ingredients, of trying things. Absolutely essential.
Tom, you've mixed everything in together.
I like that you've put olives in.
Not necessarily authentic, but that doesn't matter.
The question is, does your version taste good?
Do you know what? That's got bags of flavour in.
Because what you chose was a pre-prepared bolognese sauce.
I think there's a bit too much sugar and salt in that.
That's what's come with something pre-prepared.
But not bad. A great way to get ahead.
OK, Loz, you've got some nice colour in here from the carrots.
I don't think it tastes of anything. Which is really surprising.
I'd also say that this...
is some of the wateriest spaghetti I've ever tried.
Michael, this is an extraordinary plate of food.
I've never seen a bolognese in my life with egg in it. OK.
That is dangerously delicious.
I would say it's not bolognese at all,
but it's really nice.
The other extraordinary thing is that you put tarragon in.
Now tarragon is really not a bolognese ingredient at all,
but somehow, probably because there's egg in it,
it works really nicely to make something with fantastic flavour.
You've invented a kind of Michaelese bolognese. I am a blown away.
I barely know what to think about this, other than it tastes great.
'I've tasted the Gastronuts' interpretations of spag bol.
'Now it's time to show them exactly what goes into a proper,
'authentic, Italian version of this very familiar dish.
'Some of the ingredients are actually rather surprising.'
Now, this is the traditional version of spaghetti bolognese.
It's actually Ragu a la Bolognese.
This is how it's made, as defined by the Italian Cookery Institute,
which should be a bunch of experts who define these things.
-OK, anyone know what this is?
It is, exactly.
-It's actually pancetta, which is a kind of...
Exactly, streaky bacon.
So you get pork and beef mixed together.
Here, we have the holy trinity of vegetables.
Carrots, celery and onions.
None of you picked celery, did you, for your version?
When these things are very slowly cooked,
you get quite a lot of sugar out of them, which seems strange.
But that's what happens when you do long, slow cooking.
Slow cooking onions makes them unbelievably sweet.
Here we have tomatoes. Now what you do is you reduce these.
That means boil them. You boil them to get rid of all of the water.
And then you get triple concentrate tomato puree.
Spot-on, exactly. What do you reckon we've got there?
-Milk. That's a bit odd, isn't it?
-It's a strange and different idea. And then this here?
I know you're desperate to put egg in your bolognese, but you're wrong.
Yours was brilliant, but this is the traditional version.
This isn't necessarily what we'd have at home.
This is how the Italians would have it in their classic style.
So then you've got your tagliatelle.
We put spaghetti with the sauce, but the Italians will put tagliatelle.
There's a good reason to use tagliatelle.
-Anyone know why that is?
-Because it soaks up more.
It coats it really well.
With spaghetti, ragu can sort of fall to the bottom of it.
That's the idea. Who's to argue with them?
They are the experts. OK.
So would you like to have a little try of the authentic,
the classic, ultimate spaghetti bolognese?
-OK, well here we have it.
So the Italians wouldn't have it like this.
This is to show you the different ingredients.
I'll mix it up in the way they would have it. More like this.
All mixed together, in the pan before it comes to the table.
OK, are you ready, guys?
-Come on, let's grab a big old forkful of pasta.
I think it's creamy.
I like the texture of the meat.
-So, Loz, do you like that?
-Why do you like it?
-It's got no vegetables in it.
So, Gastronuts, do you like Ragu a la Bolognese?
-Do you LOVE Ragu a la Bolognese?
-Do you think you could make it yourself?
OK, you've done really hard work so now it's time for a bit of fun.
Now what goes into real bolognese is not tomatoes like this.
It's actually triple concentrated tomato puree.
To get tomato puree you need to take the skins off, take the seeds out,
and then reduce what's left into a really sticky pulp.
There are sensible ways of doing this, but they're really boring.
And this is Gastronuts, so I wondered, could we come up
with some crazy new ways to do it that would be a lot more fun?
'First, we're going to serve up some puree
'using this tennis racket spoony thingy.'
Pull back your spoon.
Grab a handful of tomatoes.
-Give me a countdown.
-Five, four, three, two, one.
Do you know what, half and half.
I think that's pretty good. Well done!
Our next puree provider is a customised drainpipe
with a gauze sieve stretched over the end.
-Michael, you're not very impressed with this, are you?
Is that because you don't think it's going to work?
-I don't think it's going to work.
-OK. Let's load you up to begin with.
Now then, you need to put your lid on the top.
Nice and strong.
And then, it's just the low-tech shake method. Bash those tomatoes.
Our sieve at the bottom just came off.
It was the weight of tomatoes
and the massive amount of energy that you put into that.
So that one is a dismal failure. You were absolutely right.
OK, this is the real beast.
I think it's time to load up with tomatoes.
-Do you want to chuck some golf balls in as well?
'We're hoping the golf balls will help bash Tom's toms into a puree.'
-Do you reckon this is going to work?
-I'm not sure.
OK, Tom, switch her on.
Come round here and have a look.
It's making one almighty mess, that's for sure.
It's splashing quite a bit, isn't it?
I'll tell you what, I think that's a great idea.
Let's see how well you did.
Give it a good old shake.
That's not bad, is it? Not bad.
And it's good fun.
OK, the best way to puree tomatoes is in the pouring rain.
I don't know why, but it just is.
OK, the trick here is to jump up and down
squishing the tomatoes as much as you can.
-Are you ready for this?
-You've got to be careful. In you pop.
OK, give it a little bounce, see how you feel.
Wow, I can see over the top!
-Brilliant. Now, what's missing, guys?
Tomatoes! Chuck them in on the bottom.
-Are you ready for this, Loz?
And some more.
How does it feel?
Slimy and squishy. Argh!
On your feet. Faster, higher.
I'd like to be able to tell you that tomato trampolining is
a traditional Italian method for creating puree,
but it isn't, so I can't.
-Did you clean your feet this morning?
-Are you sure?
OK, and stop!
Let's have a look at how you've done in there.
Let's have a look round here. Everyone gather round.
Wow! That is absolutely brilliant.
I thought this would be a disaster.
I thought the others would work better.
-I can't jump now.
-That is brilliant.
The Gastronuts have had their rest and relaxation.
Now it's competition time.
They know what goes into the ultimate spaghetti bolognese.
Now they have to try and cook it up.
There can only be one winner. The question is who will it be?
-So, Gastronuts, Ed. Ed, Gastronuts.
Today's judge is celebrity chef Ed Bains.
Now, Ed, as well as being a brilliant, brilliant chef,
is also a very hard taskmaster,
which means he's really critical of people who do things wrong.
OK, guys. You're going to be making a real classic ragu bolognese.
You guys are going to make this beautiful sauce.
Afterwards, I'll be judging it. Who's the best?
We'll find out. So I'll ask you each now to go to your stations,
start cooking up, and in an hour, I'll be dining on
the, hopefully, delicious bolognese you guys concoct.
-OK, Gastronuts, are you ready for this?
Remember everything that you have learned. Your time starts now.
Each Gastronut has exactly the same ingredients
to make their classic bolognese sauce.
Celery, onions and carrots, minced beef, pancetta,
tomato puree, milk and some grated cheese to top it off.
Oh, and of course, tagliatelle instead of spaghetti.
They also have exactly the same recipe to follow.
So will all their attempts taste the same, or will one winner emerge?
Nicely chopped vegetables. You haven't got to the carrots yet.
Just getting that on the go, are you?
If you chop it this way round, it won't move around, you see.
Make sure you chop your vegetables nice and small
and fry them in the oil.
It must be unbelievably stressful trying to cook with Ed hanging over your shoulder.
I hate it when there's friends in the kitchen, but having somebody
who's criticising everything you do, it must be so tense doing this.
Make sure you don't burn it.
If you burn something, you can't get rid of that taste. It's in the food forever.
-Are you feeling confident?
-Are you a good cook?
-I cook a lot.
-Yeah, I do cook a lot at home.
So how are you getting on?
-What's it like having a proper celebrity chef coming and looking over your shoulder?
It makes me a tiny bit nervous.
A bit tense. You're doing brilliantly well.
When you add the tomato puree to the oil, the meat and vegetables, make sure you cook it out.
No-one likes to eat raw tomato puree.
Have you changed the way that you're making this from the first attempt that you made?
Well, I didn't use beef before,
and I didn't have celery, and I had to chop it all myself, so it is quite different.
Are you going a lot slower this time? Are you consciously taking your time?
Before, I was probably putting my pasta in already, but not yet.
When you're cooking, this is the golden rule,
always remember you can add, but you can't take away.
So with that seasoning, salt and pepper, don't over-season it.
I seasoned it, and then I tried it.
And then I made sure what it needs.
Adjusted your seasoning.
Because last time round you didn't really try it very much, did you?
This time, you've changed so you're trying all the way.
-How are the Gastronuts doing?
-Michael, on the base, he's burnt
everything anyway, so you're guaranteed it's going to be cooked.
Loz is a really gentle, careful, what you'd call a natural cook.
Not many of us are natural cooks, but I think it's in her bones.
Tom, he's just very careful, cooking everything very gently.
He's got a slow-cook going there.
-He's a thoughtful lad as well.
Dami, again, very delicate, very gentle.
She really listened to that thing of you can add but you can't take away.
I've never seen less pepper go in a dish at once in my life.
I think we got one grain in there. She might be adding a little more.
A little bit of milk.
All of the cooks have decided to slightly amend the recipe of what
was on their board, "I'm only going to use half an onion."
So we're going to get four very different dishes.
They'll all taste very different, and I've got no idea who'll win.
OK, Gastronuts, that's 30 minutes down. Tom, how are you doing?
I finished. I've cooked the sauce and the pasta
and I've tried it to make sure it tastes good and it's cooked properly.
What are you going to do now? We'd better just keep it warm.
Don't overcook the pasta. It's horrible, overcooked pasta.
I panicked a little bit, because the water boiled a bit too early,
so I had to switch it off again.
But I think I did quite well.
It's scary that there's a person who's big on TV, a celebrity cook.
He's going to judge your own food. It's very scary.
I'm not concerned about the presentation,
but I think the flavour's good enough for me to win.
It's nerve-racking knowing Ed is about to try my food,
because I don't know what my dish tastes like.
-Don't pressurise me!
What else do you need to do to it?
-Are you sure there's enough food on that plate(?)
OK, Michael, ten seconds left.
Five, four, three, two, one, stop right there!
Stop right there! Stop right there!
I'm taking that away. I'm taking that away.
I'm taking that away.
-And that's that!
-Brilliant. I'm going to put a lid on.
And I'm taking that away. It's time to taste.
Stepping up to the plate is Michael.
First time, he made a meatball omelette, but it tasted pretty good.
Will he get nearer to the ultimate spaghetti Bolognese this time?
Do you feel you've cooked a nice dish today?
-Do you think it's going to be tasty?
-It turned a bit dry and it doesn't have much flavour in it.
Well, the first thing looking at it, is where's the sauce gone?
t's evaporated, I think. Is that the case?
Do you think? Maybe yeah?
OK, Ed, only one thing for it. Do you think that's edible?
It's certainly edible.
Here we go.
Mm. It doesn't look all that, but it does taste pretty good.
It looks like a plate of slop, and it tastes pretty good!
But you've got a nice flavour there.
And you know what? It's a nice texture.
It's not soggy and slimy.
It's got a bit of bite to it.
It's got a lovely flavour.
I could tuck into this.
It went really well.
I thought there was going to be a worse reaction than they did.
Next, Loz. Her original spag bol had watery, overcooked spaghetti.
Will she have learnt her lesson?
-How are you feeling?
Let's have a go. This looks all right to me.
Mm. I think Loz might be opening a Loz's Restaurant.
The thing that really stands out about this, Loz, is you've cooked
the pasta perfectly, and most people get that really very, very wrong.
It was really nerve-racking that a celebrity chef came in and tried
my food, and the comments that I got were just amazing, and I was really
proud of what I made and the comments,
like I just said, were really outstanding, they were.
Last time, Dami didn't taste her dish before serving,
and it was disappointing and bland.
Will the extra care taken this time pay off?
the sauce looks very nice, actually.
It's much wetter than anything we've seen.
It's very sweet.
I mean, you cooked this with love, and you can taste that.
I think you're a bit of a natural as a cook.
When you tasted it and you finished it and you put it in your mouth,
did you feel, "That's delicious"?
-Yeah. I love that, I love that! That's confidence.
I feel really confident that I'm going to win now because he said
really good stuff about my spaghetti Bolognese, and I think I can win.
Finally, Tom serves up.
He was the first to finish, but should he have used the extra time?
Presentation-wise, it's, I think, probably the most attractive
or most authentic-looking plate of pasta.
The pasta's cooked very well.
Hasn't been overcooked. I'm surprised about that, because
you cooked it with an awful lot of time to spare.
The sauce would have benefited from another 20 minutes
just bubbling away gently to extract all those flavours, because nothing's really blended together.
But it is still very appetising. I think it's a great effort.
Well, if you'd like to take a seat outside,
we will come to our decision in here. Good luck.
If I'd left it another 20 minutes, the flavours might have come up.
But he said
that if somebody put that in front of him, he'd eat it.
Do you think, out of all those dishes, you can choose a winner?
There are two dishes out of those four that I'm mulling over now.
Out of those two, it's very, very close to see who did make the ultimate Bolognese.
They've cooked their hearts out, now it's time to reveal our winner.
Ed, who made the ultimate Bolognese?
The ultimate Bolognese was made by...
Well done, Loz.
-Well done, Loz.
-That is fantastic.
OK, Loz, you win the world's crummiest trophy, made from pasta.
Congratulations. However, there is something else.
You've also won some of the finest ingredients in the land
to be able to go home and make your ultimate Bolognese for your folks.
-OK? Well done, guys. You've all done brilliantly, brilliantly well,
and now you can go home transformed,
being able to make Bolognese like never before.
I think we should all try it. That's our prize. Let's dig in and taste the ultimate Bolognese.
Look at that!
Blimey! I never realised there was so much drama in making a plate of Bolognese.
But what we've learnt is to make the ultimate Bolognese, you need knowledge,
hard work, but most of all, you need a sense of adventure.
When Loz was jumping around on that trampoline, going
absolutely wild with those tomatoes, I kind of knew that she'd got it.
There's only one final test of how good the ultimate Bolognese is.
I've cooked spaghetti Bolognese before at home, but I'm going to use
Ed's comments next time to make the spaghetti Bolognese even better.
When I put the tomatoes into the cement mixer, it was fun, because
you could see it going round and it was all squelching.
The most surprising thing is, for me, how to make tomato puree.
My one fell apart as I was shaking it.
To be crowned the ultimate spaghetti Bolognese was amazing.
I was just so pleased, I was.
It was really just wow when they said, "Lauren."
I just screamed, and that was that, really.
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