Friday 29 January 2016

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

You know when you’re a child and some things are just a certain way and you never question anything to be different. Example: both my granddads and my dad were/are really into photography so growing up my sister and I had film cameras and as a kid I thought it was normal to have multiple cameras in the house and found it extremely odd when I had friends at school who’s parents didn’t even own a camera. I feel like this is making me sound old. Anyway the point I’m trying to make is at a young age you never really question some of the things you grow up with, well obviously I didn’t, case in point I never knew white spaghetti was a thing.
We ate multi coloured frusilli pasta, I think I vaguely remember eating white bow pasta and shells but when it came to spaghetti it was always brown and that was just normal to me. It wasn’t until I was about 10 maybe that I realised white spaghetti existed, I was probably at a restaurant but I mostly remember thinking why is this pasta so slimy. Obviously I’ve been on the whole wheat bandwagon since birth and even though I now know it exists I’ve still never bought white spaghetti.
This is another one of those “mother knows best” recipes! Spaghetti bolognese has been my favourite meal for as long as I can remember but specifically this Bolognese. It’s the way my mum makes it, and due to my life time obsession it’s the way I make it and I think it was probably one of the first meals I learnt to cook.
Let’s talk healthy; you don’t need oil to cook this, if possible buy the minced beef with the lowest fat content and always cook the meat first and drain the fat that comes out. We usually add courgette and carrot but when I was at uni I added pretty much any vegetable I could find, it’s a good way to bulk it out and make it stretch further, you might need another tin of tomatoes but feel free to go vegetable crazy. Like I said earlier I’m a supporter of whole wheat pasta which makes things a little healthier too but it also tastes great with courgetti if you have a spiralizer.
Even though this is healthy I can’t resist adding all the cheese, a few parmesan shavings would be the healthy way, or no cheese I guess but that thought makes me incredibly sad. If you’re trying to resist your love for cheese avert your eyes, I like to double up on my cheese; grated mature cheddar mixed in so it melts into everything and parmesan on top, I can almost taste it. I mean you’re being healthy with the bolongese you can splurge on the cheese right? If you’re going to eat it, eat it right! but shh I didn’t say that. You will need
750g minced beef, 12% fat or lower
1 large onion
1 large courgette
1 large carrot
2 cloves of garlic
Dried basil & parsley
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp tomato ketchup

Fry the mined beef in a large non stick frying pan (no oil needed) until browned.
While the mince is cooking cut the onion and courgette into small pieces and grate the carrot and garlic. Once the meat has cooked place a colander over a bowl and pour the mince in to drain the fat (do not drain it into the sink as it may block up your drain).
Wipe any remaining fat from the frying pan, add the vegetables and dried basil and parsley and cook until soft.
While the vegetables are cooking blend the tined tomatoes until smooth, add the mince back to the frying pan with the vegetables and pour in the blended tomatoes, add in the puree and ketchup and season well, mix, then leave to simmer for 20-40 minutes.

Serve with whole wheat spaghetti or courgetti and top with parmesan.


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