When Mr R suggested we watch Tales from the Crypt for our Halloween movie,

I went straight to the spreadsheet to see what I had that would be appropriate.  Luckily my pal Greg over at Recipes For Rebels included Joan Collins’ recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese in his brilliant book.

As Mr R carved his best pumpkin yet…

I got this pot of deliciousness on the go.

As it did its thing on the hob for two hours, we had a matinee, the brilliant Carry on Screaming.  

Mr  R has a great story about Fenella Fielding and a lost umbrella.  You’ll have to ask him to tell you if you meet him in person as I can’t do it justice.

Fenella is on my “most wanted” list for recipes, there is absolutely zilch from her in the collection so if anyone out there knows of a Fenella recipe, do let me know.  I admit I’ve never seen her in anything except Carry on Screaming (in which she is TERRIFIC of course) so cooking something favoured by Fenella would be a marvellous excuse to watch her in something else.

Joan’s spaghetti bolognese was delicious.  The mixture of three kinds of meat made for a really lovely texture and the long cooking time really melded all the flavours.  As I’m a Worcestershire sauce addict I would probably have added a bit more to the mix (and did so at the table) and we were both surprised there was no garlic, BUT, a very good spag bol nonetheless.

This is definitely one of Joan’s signature dishes as her sister Jackie said this, “Joan failed to pick up the family’s cooking gene.  Joan can cook.  Spaghetti Bolognese.  That’s all she cooks.”

Although in “The World According to Joan” there is a whole chapter about Joan’s thoughts on food and it begins,

“Contrary to what many people believe I am quite a reasonable cook, and occasionally I do knock up one of my signature dishes.  Spaghetti Bolognese, roast chicken with garlic and sautéed potatoes, my special chicken soup (which we call ‘Jewish Penicillin’ because it worked wonders when my children had a cold), Salad Nicoise (the recipe copied from my favourite Saint Tropez restaurant, Club 55), and last but by no means least, the world’s most fabulous and fattening chocolate mousse, again freely adapted from another wonderful restaurant in Provence, L’Auberge de la Mole.”

I hadn’t read this before making our din dins but I was stupidly pleased when I read it afterwards because for pudding we had Vincent Price’s chocolate mousse, so no doubt Joan would have approved of that as a pud after her spaghetti.  A blog post about that coming soon…

Joan is utterly GORGEOUS in Tales from the Crypt.

But it’s probably best not to watch this film on Christmas Eve…

Last but not least, an off-the-cuff film-related joke from Mr Rathbone.  I bought posh pasta for this

and Mr R said, “That doesn’t look like spaghetti, is it linguine?”  I said, “No, it’s filini” to which his response was, “Well we’d better cook it for eight and a half minutes.”

OH, I just found this.


Hmmm – Joan mentions adding garlic powder and “lots of sugar.”  It looks as though this was filmed in 2020 so I’m guessing she has tweaked her recipe over the years.

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
Olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 (28 oz.) cans peeled tomatoes
2 tubes tomato paste
12 mushrooms, cut up
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 bay leaf, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 bottle red wine


Mix meats together and brown in olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients, except wine, and simmer 2 hours. Add wine. Serve with spaghetti and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. 6-8 servings.

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