I’m still astounded by the amount of people who don’t have basic recipes in their arsenal, so this is my go-to Spaghetti Bolognese recipe which is suitable for the whole family, including weaning babies from about 6 months!
Cost £4.98 for the whole meal (including cucumber crudites)
£1.25 per person*
*this will depend on how many people you are feeding and their appetities! I got 4 adult portions, 1 toddler portion and one weaning portion out of this recipe. We saved 2 portions for lunch the next day.
500g beef mince (I use lean 5% fat)
1 onion, finely diced
2 courgettes, diced
6-8 mushrooms, chopped
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic granules
2 oxo cubes
Put the onion, courgette and mushrooms in a frying pan on a low heat and leave them to sweat and soften for about 10-15 minutes, moving about regularly (N.B. I don’t cook with any oil, but use an oil spray instead. This is just my preference so either is fine).
Add the mince, tomatoes, puree, oxo cube, oregano and garlic to the pan along with some water (fill up the empty tomato tin with tap water and add to the pan, this is enough water). Turn the heat up for about a minute until the sauce is bubbling, then turn back down to low and leave it alone to do its thing for 30-45 minutes.
As long as you have the heat on low, you shouldn’t really have to interfere with the sauce at all, but feel free to give it a quick stir if you walk past!
Boil a pan of water and cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package (about 10 minutes), drain and add a portion to each plate. Top with a portion of the sauce and job done. Alternatively, you can drain the pasta, return it to the pan and stir the sauce through. It probably won’t look as pretty, but gives you a good ratio of sauce to pasta when you eat it!
For the kids
If you’re lucky enough to have toddlers who will eat this as it is, then hats off to you. If, like me, your toddler will take one look at it and throw a “I don’t want those bits” fit, then simply throw a bit of the sauce in a blender to hide all the bits. For Amelia, I literally blend the sauce for about 5 seconds and then serve.
With any remaining sauce in your blender, whizz it to a fine puree and this will then be a great meal for babies too. If you have any blended sauce leftover, transfer to a small tub and freeze or refrigerate for another day.
TIP: If you plan on having this for lunch the next day, as soon as you drain your spaghetti run a portion under cold water immediately. This stops the cooking process and stops it from being clumpy and sticky when you microwave it. Stir the sauce through, transfer to tubs and refrigerate. Then simply stick it in the microwave the next day to warm it through.