If there is one recipe I can always rely on to be firm family favourite, and syn-free and tasty to boot, it’s Spaghetti Bolognese. It’s hearty, tasty, filling and I can’t really beat slurping up strings of spaghetti. I have tried the Slimming World version of this dish, which is okay, but it has surprisingly little speed in it. This recipe of mine is the way I’d cook Spaghetti Bolognese before Slimming World (save for the omission of a glug of red wine, but beggars can’t be choosers). And all I’ve done is add a lot more veggies to the mix (great for Slimming Worlders and kids alike) and cook it in Fry Light, instead of olive oil. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Pack of lean beef mince (500g)
Two carrots finely diced, one large onion finely diced, and two celery sticks finely chopped (cheat’s tip – you could buy a bag of Waitrose Soffritto Mix instead as it’s all chopped for you!)
Three crushed cloves of garlic.
One tin of chopped tomatoes.
One small carton of pasatta.
Two tablespoons of tomato puree.
Any extra veg you can find – I like to add mushrooms, courgetti (or simply finely chopped courgette), cherry tomatoes are a great one, or finely diced peppers for a summery sweetness. You choose. But pack in as much as you can!
One beef stock cube.
A tablespoon of mixed herbs.
A splash of balsamic vinegar.
A tablespoon of sugar/sweetener for sweetness – it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
1) In a large pan, brown the mince and set aside on a plate.
2) In the same pan, add your soffritto mix or carrot/onion/celery. And soften.
3) Add in the garlic and return your mince to the pan. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
4) Add in any extra veg and let this sweat down.
5) Add balsamic to deglaze the pan (get the nice tasty bits off the bottom). You could also add a glass of wine at this stage, if this was to be extra decadent, but you’d need to syn it accordingly.
6) Add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and pasatta, along with the herbs. And crumble in your stock cube here too – for extra flavour. (Tip: If you have the rind of a block of Parmesan – the stubby end – chuck it in now and let it cook with the mixture until the end and remove before serving. It gives SO MUCH flavour, but, the way I see it, no syns!)
7) Allow the mixture to reduce slowly, on a low heat, for around half an hour. Stir, and leave to cook gently for longer if you like your sauce slightly thicker.
8) Taste, add seasoning to your taste. And then add sugar as required, I find it best to add at the end and give it a good stir, as the mixture naturally sweetens as it reduces. You may want to add more or less, depending on your taste.
9) Serve up with spaghetti, linguine, or courgetti even. I also like to add a side salad too!