A simple recipe for a classic – spaghetti bolognese, and a fantastic way to sneak veges into dinner!
As much as I love trying new recipes, eating new things and tormenting Josh with the complete unknown at meal times there is something so comforting about a classic like spaghetti bolognese. It’s something my mum made a lot when I was growing up and it’s one of our go-to easy Friday or Sunday night meals. We are talking proper comforting, tastes like home, Farmer Friendly Food.
It’s also something that you can make from scratch with only a teeny bit more effort required than opening a jar of bolognese sauce. If you can cook mince, you can make this…trust me!
I’ll walk you through the process…ready? Go!
Finely chop half an onion and crush a few cloves of garlic. Heat a little bit of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion & garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to smell real good! Add the mince and cook until brown – about 10 minutes, and then if you’re trying to trick fussy kids (or husbands) add a cup or so of grated fresh vegetables. I like adding carrot & zucchini.
Add the beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, worchestershire sauce & sugar to the mince and give it a good stir. This would also be the point where if you happened to have an open bottle of red wine on hand, you could add a splash of that too. Some for the food, some for the glass. It’s a winning cooking strategy!
Simmer the bolognese over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until it’s starting to get nice and thick. At this point, give it a bit of a taste test and add salt and pepper as you need. I usually start small with the salt (about 1/4 tsp) and add more as I think it needs it. Remember, you can always add more salt but it’s hard to take it away!
About halfway through the cooking time add the chopped fresh or dried herbs and let them do their delicious thang to your dinner. I love using fresh herbs out of my little herb garden – parsley, oregano & basil went into this – but if you only have dried herbs on hand, they will be perfect. While that is happening cook up some spaghetti & grate some cheese, because the cheese on top is NOT optional, and get ready to serve up a fantastic tasty meal for the whole fam!
See! Told you it was simple. Now put that jar of sauce back on the shelf and go make yourself some spag bol!
- 500 grams beef mince
- 1/2 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup grated carrot/zucchini (optional)
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 TBSP fresh herbs (parsley/oregano/rosemary/basil) or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1/4 tsp salt (start with this and add more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (start with this and add more to taste)
- 250 g dried pasta
- Grated cheese to serve
Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic.
Heat 1 TBSP of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion & garlic and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the mince and cook until brown (5-10 minutes). Add the vegetables if using and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce & sugar and combine. Simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the bolognese has thickened. About halfway through this cooking time give it a taste test and starting with about 1/4 tsp of salt, add salt until it is to your taste. Also add the chopped fresh or dried herbs.
While bolognese is simmering, cook the spaghetti according to the package directions and grate some cheese.
Drain the spaghetti, dish into bowls and top with the bolognese and grated cheese.
Store any leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for 3 days or freeze portions.