Friday, 6 December 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese

As a child, I never much liked spaghetti bolognese. My sister always loved it - I have a vivid memory of a trip to Disneyland Paris more than ten years ago, and her spilling bright sauce down her new white Disney princess dress. 

The issue for me was always the pasta - I swirled and swirled my fork but just ended up doing what Fraser dubbed the 'furtive spaghetti face', as I anxiously tried to ensure I wasn't getting pasta all over my chin. It took me much longer than I'd like to admit before I realised I could just cut the damn things (though Mum and Shannon mock!), and suddenly my resentment of the whole dish vanished.

Since being at university in particular, I've loved making this. Cook in bulk, pop the leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch or freeze for next week's tea. It's an all-round winner!

Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 300g Quorn mince
- 1tsp each of dried oregano and rosemary
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 400g kidney beans
- 1 Oxo cube
- glass of red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1tbsp red pesto
- handful fresh basil, torn
- salt and pepper, to taste

Some chopped mushrooms would go really well in here too, though I'm personally not a fan.

1. Grab yourself a large saucepan, and throw in the onion, carrot, celery and garlic along with a knob of butter. Cook these gently for about 10 minutes, until softened.


2. Tip in the Quorn mince (no need to de-frost) and cook 'til it starts to brown, then crumble over the Oxo cube and add the dried herbs, chopped tomatoes, red wine, kidney beans, pesto and bay leaf.
3. Bring the sauce to a boil, then allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes. This is a good time to sort out your spaghetti, too - 75g per person.
4. Season your bolognese to taste, and scatter in the fresh basil. Mix in the pasta, sprinkle with cheddar and enjoy your fork-swirling (/surreptitious cutting).

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