For me, pasta with bolognaise is very much a comfort food. We used to have it when my mum worked away as I wouldn’t get home from school until 18.30 and my dad from work at a similar time so there was never time to cook on those days. Luckily mum would make up a huge vat of this stuff and freeze it so we would come home and have a fab dinner which just needed to be reheated.
One of the best things about this sauce is how versatile it is! You can use it just on pasta, you can make it into a lasagne. I have been known to just have it on toast if I’m super hungry. The recipe I use is very basic, it only has 4 main ingredients with a smattering of seasonings but I know that some people put in mushrooms and sweetcorn too so if you like them in your bolognaise, feel free to add any extras!
The recipe itself produces a large amount of sauce so make sure that you have boxes to store it in! It’s perfect for after a long day as all you need to do is bung it in a pan (either defrosted or still frozen – though I would add a little water in the second case to prevent burning), cook up some of your favourite pasta and hey presto! You have yourself a delicious meal!!
Servings ~ 10 Cost per portion ~ 50p
500g Beef Mince (Or for a vegetarian option, use quorn or soya mince!)
2 Large Onions – I use cannon onions (about twice the size of a fist)
3 Large Carrots
Salt and pepper
Worcestershire Sauce (about a tsp)
Ketchup (about a tbsp)
Soy sauce (about a tbsp.)
A large saucepan (with a lid)
A chopping board
A large knife
A wooden spoon (or equivalent)
Optional, if you are using passata, you can thicken it up (so the final sauce is less wet) by boiling it in a pan for 15 minutes or so to reduce it down. Add about a teaspoon of sugar while it’s boiling and should you wish to add garlic to the sauce, this is where you put it in!
Dice up the onion and place into a large pan on a medium heat.
Grate the carrot and add it to the pan and fry until it starts to soften.
Make a well in the middle of the vegetables and add the mince a little at a time (I generally go for a quarter of the pack and break it up as I put it in).
Make sure the majority of the mince has gone brown before you stir it through and add the next potion of the meat. If you wish to use quorn mince instead, this is where you would add it but unlike meat, you do not need to brown it, just stir it all in and move on to the next step.
Once all the mince is incorporated, add the tomato and stir it in.
If you wish to add red wine, garlic, salt and pepper, basil or mixed herbs, now is the time to do so.
Leave the sauce with a lid on a low heat to simmer for at least half an hour or even longer if possible!
The sauce will darken a little while it is simmering so don’t be alarmed if you come back to find it a different colour to when you started!
I go for a medium ladle per portion as that suites me just perfectly.
The sauce is so versatile and can be used in pasta bakes, lasagne or just as plain bolognaise – I have been known to just eat it on toast too!
Let me know what you think of it in the comments and I’ll see you all next week for another baking post – this time, bread related!