I think this is one of those recipes that everyone should have some version of in their repertoire. You can have some very involved recipes which take a long time and use some ingredients you probably wouldn’t have lying around.
At the other extreme you’ve got your jars of sauce. I haven’t got one to hand to go through the ingredients but I know there’ll be added sweetener, preservatives, etc… and I just don’t believe that’s right any more.
So, this is my super simple Spag-Bol recipe. There’s very little in the way of non-natural ingredients, I think it comes in at less than £2.50 per portion and it’s really nice – at least Wife and I think so.
- Pack of lean steak mince
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- 3 x garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 x Knorr Beef Stock Pot
- 1 large onion
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 rib of celery, diced
- 1 tbsp of dried basil
- Dried spaghetti (50g per person)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
Method of Preparation:
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat and when it’s very hot add the onion and garlic. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the onions are soft
- Add the carrot and celery and cook for another 10 minutes
- Turn the heat back up to high and add the mince. Keep stirring and breaking up the mince until it is all browned and then add the can of tomatoes and stir
- Add the Knorr Beef Stock Pot and stir into the mixture. I use these as they aren’t too oily, they make good stocks when added to water and they’re full of flavour.
- When that’s stirred in add the dried basil, give it a good stir and have a taste. Season with your salt and pepper, put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile cook your spaghetti as per the manufacturer’s instructions and serve once ready.
- If you’ve got it in the house it’s always nice to finish this off with a bit of grated cheese too
That’s it. The whole process takes less than an hour, it can easily all be scaled up to make it for 4, 6, 8 or however many you’re cooking for in about the same time frame and it’s made from good ingredients. I’d look at this as a base recipe, there’s tonnes of stuff you can do to add to it. How about a cup of good red wine added with the stock pot, chopped fresh tomatoes added to the sauce, a bit of Worcestershire sauce for added seasoning, you could batch brown the meat separately and drain the excess fat away to make it a bit more healthy, there’s loads and loads. Also remember, the better ingredients you start with the better product you’re going to finish up with. The key to this one, I’d say, is getting a good stock cube and good tinned tomatoes.
If you’re thinking of trying something a bit more sumptuous then there are a number of excellent recipes out there but I would heartily recommend this recipe for Jon’s Ultimate Spaghetti Bolognese courtesy of The Glutton Club