I love making spaghetti bolognaise for my family. It’s one of those meals that kids and adults love, and you can get all sorts of healthy foods in there without anyone complaining.
Of course, my eldest son has said that I am the only Mum he knows who puts carrots into spaghetti bolognaise, but there you go.
Forget opening a jar of spaghetti sauce, this is the real deal and it tastes 100 times better.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices streaky bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crush and mince
500 grams (1 pound) beef mince
1 tablespoon double concentrate tomato puree (tomato paste)
1 beef stock cube
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch chili pepper flakes
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 jar tomato puree (pasata)
1 glass red wine
12 dried black olives, pip removed and chopped
1 inch square parmesan rind, cut into pieces
1 handful fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 handful fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Using a deep pot, brown off the bacon in olive oil until it has rendered don and started to become crunchy.
Add in the onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook down until softened.
Remove to a bowl. Add another tablespoon olive oil if needed.
Add the mince to the pot and brown.
Crumble in the stock cube.
Place the fennel seeds, black pepper, salt, dried herbs, and chili flakes into a pestle dish and crush. (or pulse through a clean coffee grinder) Add this to the mince, stir and cook for a minute.
Add in the tomato paste, stir into the mince, letting it cook off for another minute.
Add in the chopped tinned tomatoes, and pasata. Use the red wine to rinse out the tins and add to the mixture.
Add back in the cooked onions, parmesan rind, and olives. If necessary add a bit of water.
Cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes at a low simmer, then taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Cover and simmer for at least another 30 minutes.
Serve over cooked spaghetti and top with grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Other vegetables you could add to spaghetti bolognaise, cook these up with the onions:
Aubergine (eggplant) chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
Courgette (zucchini) chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
Carrots chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
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