Thursday, 22 September 2011

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Who doesn't love a good spag bol? It's a firm family favourite, quick, easy and full of goodness. The supermarket is stacked with jarred sauces to make this meal even easier but you really don't need to use them as it's so easy to get a fantastic flavour by using good storecupboard and fresh ingredients.  The key is to pack in the veg and use a very lean mince beef so you can really stretch how far the sauce can go.

All this said, I've long struggled with finding the balance of bolognaise sauce & pasta, that meets my requirements; tasty, filling, max 12 ProPoints.  I am pleased to say that I think I am there! My tastebuds are tingling from the wonderful eating experience of this evening.  (Ok I admit, after a glass of red to wash it down, I may also be a tad tipsy!)

One last thing; the preparation of this was super-quick with the aid of my fabulous Pampered Chef food chopper. It really made light work of the prep and if you ever get invited to a Pampered Chef party, you won't regret this purchase!  No wonder it's one of their best sellers.

You'll need for 5 adults or 4 adults & 2-3 kids. (I usually freeze bolognaise x2 adult portion and x2 child portion)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion,  finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large courgette, finely chopped
  • A few chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 500g extra lean mince beef, 5% fat
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Approx 10 dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
  • Handful of freshly chopped basil
  • 425g spaghetti or your choice of pasta
Get a large, heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove.  I love using my cast-iron pan.  Heat the olive oil.  Gently saute the onion.  I tend to prep vegetables as I'm going and throw them into the pan as they are chopped. This often involves turning the heat on and off depending on how quick I am at chopping!!  Next add the carrots, celery, garlic, courgettes and then the mushrooms.  Keep stirring and add a little water if it looks a little dry.

Next, turn the heat up and add the mince, breaking it up with the wooden spoon and browning all over.  Add the 2 tins of tomatoes.  Fill one of the cans with water and add that to the pan too.  Keep stirring and add the worcestershire sauce, the tomato puree, salt & pepper and pinch of sugar. 

Now just leave it for a good 30 - 40 mins on a low simmer and add some freshly chopped basil at the end. 

Boil your pasta in salted water according to the packet instructions.  I work on the basis on 85g dried pasta per portion. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Serve up!

You can portion up the bolognaise sauce and freeze for later date

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese for additional 1-2 PP.

WeightWatchers ProPoints Per Serving: 12

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