Friday, 12 September 2008

F is for Family Meals - Spaghetti Bolognese


I’ve been asked by Kelly of Almost Frugal to post one of my favourite recipes here as part of her "F is for..." series so here goes.

Just about everybody I know loves spag bol so when the family gather for dinner, I always find this is a good bet to serve. From the very young to those who are getting on a bit, they’ll all eat it.

Now as some of you already know, I don’t like tomatoes so in order to not have to put myself through the ordeal of picking out big bits, I had to devise a Bolognese sauce that didn’t actually have any tomatoes in it but still tasted the way it ought to. This is what I came up with and as I’ve yet to have any complaints, I’m guessing it really is as tasty as I think it is.

Sharon’s Tomato-less Bolognese Sauce

Serves 6

750 g minced beef
A couple of tbsps olive oil
2 large onions, chopped or sliced
1 ½ small or 1 large garlic bulb, crushed and chopped
1/3 red pepper, sliced or diced
1/3 green pepper, sliced or diced
10-12 closed cup mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 stick celery (optional)
8 dl beef stock
6 tbsps tomato puree
1 ½ dl red wine
1 heaped tbsp dry oregano (or 3 tbsps fresh)
½ tbsp dry basil (or 1 ½ tbsps fresh)
2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce

  1. Gently fry the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium heat until the onions are clear then add the mince and carry on frying until it’s brown and crumbly.

  2. Add the beef stock, tomato puree and red wine, stir it all up then add the peppers, mushrooms, grated carrot, oregano, basil and Worcestershire sauce.

  3. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce had reduced and thickened.

I usually make a big batch and freeze some for a quick meal at other times. Thaw it overnight in the fridge (or, if you forget to take it out, use the microwave defrost setting or submerge the container of frozen sauce in hot water for a while) and then heat through until its piping hot. You may need to add a little extra liquid, but on the other hand, you may not - it depends how liquid the sauce was at the outset.

Sharon J


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Catz said...

This sounds delicious Sharon!

Sharon J said...

It is, Catz. Well I think so anyway and, luckily, so does my family :)

Anonymous said...

it does sound delicious... two thoughts though..

1) have you tried adding a teaspoon or so of marigold's veg boullion? I find that often helps jack up the flavour stakes, if you do, just watch how much salt you add (unless you get the reduced salt version of marigold's), as the orignal version of boullion is quite salty. You should be able to find it a big supermarket, or a health food shop, for around £1.50 or less a tub - i think i pay around £1.37 for a tub from tescos. And you can use it to make up stock for soups!

2. if you'd like to make a tomato bolognaise but don't want to actually eat lumps of tomato, then try passata - that's basically ground up, sieved tomatoes, so there's no lumps (or pips, or bits of skin) in it. Its not too expensive either, i think most big supermarkets do a value version. just a thought!



Sharon J said...

@ Kethry. Thanks for the tips. I tried it with passata and although we all ate it, I still found it a little too strong on the tomato stakes. Funnily enough, I do use passata in my chilli though. I guess I just have weird taste buds :)

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