Spaghetti Bolognese

I know this is a rather simple recipe, but I think it is a staple for someone at university or learning to cook, I expect I will be making this a lot in the coming weeks. It’s also a really easy recipe to adapt, by adding different vegetables, meat alternatives such a quorn or removing the meat altogether and creating a basic tomato pasta sauce. This is also so easy to add to making it stretch to serve 6 by adding another tin of chopped tomatoes and another onion and carrot, I don’t feel an extra packet of meat would be needed but feel free to add one if you wish.

Ingredients for 4 servings

1 carrot

1 onion

1 pack of mince (500g)

1 veg/beef stock cube

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (add another tin if you like more sauce)

sprinkle of mixed herbs

about 75g spaghetti per person (or as much pasta as you want) (also I always use wholegrain pasta because it’s so much better for you despite the unappetising colour)

pinch of salt

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion and carrot and heat up a small amount of oil in a large frying pan,
  2. Begin to fry the chopped vegetables on a high/medium heat (7 or 8 if your hobs have heat value numbers); using a wooden spoon or cooking utensil to move the veg around the pan, ensuring it doesn’t burn or stick to one area of the pan.
  3. After frying the vegetables for a few minutes, add the packet of mince to the pan and break it down into small pieces using your cooking utensil.
  4. Fry until the meat is nearly completely brown and then crumble the stock cube into the pan.
  5. When the meat is completely brown add the tin of tomatoes and a sprinkling of mixed herbs and leave to simmer and cook for 20 minutes on a medium heat, occasionally stirring.
  6. Whilst the sauce is cooking, fill a large saucepan with water (about ⅔ of the way full) and boil it.
  7. Once the water has boiled, add the pasta and cook it with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes, or according to packet instructions.
  8. After the pasta and sauce has cooked, drain the pasta using a colander or sieve and serve up. (I always top mine with some grated cheddar or parmesan).

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Sausage Pasta with Fresh Garden Salad

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As I mentioned in my Re-introduction post, I want to try and cook a bit more and record my attempts on here alongside bakes. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals cook book (it took me about 1 hour 15 minutes so not quite a 15 minute meal but I expect with practice it would take half the time) however I adapted it slightly whilst cooking it and afterwards so this should make it quicker whilst, in my opinion, not affecting the taste. The pasta could easily be made without the salad for a simple week night meal, with the leftovers cooled and eaten for lunch the next day.

Ingredients for pasta serves 4

6 sausages

1 red onion

4 peppers

4 sprigs of rosemary

1 tbsp olive oil

320g dried frusili

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

350g passata

Ingredients for Garden salad

rocket

soft round lettuce leaves

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

3 tbsp fat free natural yoghurt

the juice of 1 lemon

fresh chives

MEthod

  1. Pre-heat the oven as stated on the back of the pack of sausages and cook in a roasting tin for the specified time with 2 sprigs of rosemary.
  2. Peel the onion, prepare the peppers, and chop all of the veg into manageable chunks or quarters and pulse in the food processor with the remaining rosemary leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Put them into a large frying pan with a tablespoon of oil and fry on a low heat. After a few minutes, add the passata and balsamic vinegar and continue to occasionally stir.
  4. Boil some water in a pan and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  5. Wash the lettuce and rocket (use as much lettuce as you would like).
  6. To make the dressing, mix the mustard, yoghurt and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir through a large pinch of chopped chives, leaving some to sprinkle over the finished salad and pasta.
  7. Drain the pasta and mix with the fried veg sauce in a large bowl and serve with the remaining chopped chives. Chop the sausages and scatter over the pasta with a drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar.
  8. Mix the dressing with the lettuce and serve in another large bowl.