Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

A classic: Spag Bol

on March 17, 2011

Sometimes you just feel like spaghetti bolognaise.  I don’t normally make it as it’s one of the few things my husband makes, but yesterday I was in need of some and as he’d kindly picked me up and driven home in football traffic, I couldn’t really ask him to make it.  And anyway…I think mine is better!  But then I would.

This is a simple and classic recipe and you can change the beef mince to lamb, pork, or quorn.  I didn’t have any carrots or celery which are also classic ingredients, so I used olives and sweetcorn instead!  But that’s the great thing about the classics and why they stand the test of time – they’re so versatile they’ll adapt to whatever is in your fridge.

The key to this is the flavours.  So you can make it with a jar of pasta sauce and it’ll taste ok, but if you make it with passata, red wine, beef stock and fresh herbs – the flavours will be so much better, so it’s definitely worth it.  If you are using pasta sauce then I’d at least put in your own herbs, a splash of wine and a spoonful of tomato paste.  This will definitely improve it.

According to my recipe book, this recipe has 228 calories in it, so it’s a good diet option too – and you thought you couldn’t eat things like spag bol on a diet, didn’t you?!  There is another recipe that I’m dying to try which looks delicious and is infinitely higher in calories than this one – but this is your full of flavour and diet friendly one.

Spaghetti bolognaise

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200g beef mince (or pork or quorn)
  • 60ml red wine
  • 100ml passatta
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 175ml beef stock
  • 150g spaghetti (or other pasta)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 50g tinned sweetcorn
  • handful of olives (cut in half)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy pan (I used a wok!) and fry the onion & garlic on a low heat until softened but not browned (if using carrots & celery or other fresh vege, add it here).
  2. Next add the mince, breaking it up with the spatula.  Fry until browned – about 7 minutes.
  3. Then add the wine, mix well and allow to bubble and reduce.
  4. Then add the passatta, 30ml of beef stock, and tomato paste, lower the heat, stir well and allow to simmer and infuse the meat for about 20-30 minutes.  Add the remaining stock as necessary.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
  6. Add the herbs to the meat mixture and season to taste.
  7. Then chuck in the sweetcorn and olives (frozen peas would work just as well here), stir well and heat for a minute or two.
  8. Divide the spaghetti between the bowls and top with the bolognaise sauce.
  9. Serve immediately with parmesan and garlic bread (if you want).
  10. Enjoy with the remainder of the wine!

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