It's always handy to have a few easy classics within your kitchen repertoire, with a traditional bolognese sauce rightfully deserving of a spot. Not only is it super easy to whip up, but it's ridiculously versatile. I'll often freeze a batch, and serve smaller portions within lettuce wraps, on rice, as a base for mini cottage pies, or alongside some beans, guacamole and salsa when my taste-buds are holding out for some Mexican. It's also relatively cheap to prepare for the amount of people it'll feed, particularly if you decrease the mince and add in a few tins of brown lentils to the mix (you won't notice a difference!). Even if you swear you can't make toast, I encourage you to give this recipe a go - it's such a great basic to have under your belt. You won't believe how easy it is to whip your own delicious pasta sauce...you'll never go back to buying pre-prepared sauces again!
Note: in the picture I've used courgette (zucchini) noodles alongside my bolognese, which were made using a fun little nifty machine called a spiraliser, which turns veggies into faux-noodles. Zoodles or courgetti (the best names EVER) as they're sometimes called, serve as a lower-carb option to regular pasta, and are a lighter gluten-free alternative for those who may suffer with sensitivities to gluten. They're super speedy and totally fun to use (see giant pencil-sharpener resemblance below). Feel free to replace with the pasta of your choice.
For you're after a vegetarian/vegan friendly bolognese click here.
1 tbsp oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 kg prime beef mince (or 500g mince + 1x 400g tin of brown lentils for a cheaper option!)
2 tins of pureed tomatoes
1 small pottle of tomato paste (around 140g)
1 carrot, grated
1 courgette, grated
2 handfuls of white button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley to garnish, finely chopped
Courgette noodles (optional)
1 medium courgette/person (as a guide)
1. Heat a pan with the oil. Stir-fry garlic and onion, until the onions are soft and clear.
2. Add the beef mince and cook until brown, using a wooden spoon to break a part the mince.
3. Add the carrot, courgette and capsicum and cook for a further few minutes.
4. Add the tins of tomato and tomato paste and mix well. Turn the heat up until the sauce begins to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken.
5. Prepare your courgette noodles using a spiraliser. Place the noodles into a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them sit for 15 minutes, and then gently squeeze out any excess moisture. If you don't have a spiraliser, cook normal pasta until tender.
6. Add portions of courgette noodles to serve, top with your bolognese sauce, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a sprinkling of parsley.