Bolognese is normally accompanied with pasta. Many people ask me why I don’t put pasta on my programme. The main reason is that I view pasta as a treat and not an everyday food. It is low in fibre and is a refined carbohydrate. It is also really easy to eat too much of at any one time.
Pasta was temporarily deemed a health food in the 1980’s, but this was simply because it was low in fat, which at the time we believed was beneficial to our health. My rule is to make the Bolognese sauce star of the show and not the pasta. Later on pasta can come back on the menu, but once you add in sufficient meat and vegetables to your plate, there is less room for the pasta. Also I recommend wholegrain pasta wherever possible.
Ingredients- Serves 4
500g beef mince. Look for slow-reared, grass fed, free range or organic if possible
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 carrots, diced
400g tin chopped or cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp. tomato puree
400g beef stock or bone broth
2 tsp. dried rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh
1 tbsp. dried oregano or 2 tbsp. fresh oregano
Optional: 3 tbsp. Worcester sauce (can be gluten-free if preferred).
3 tbsp. vegetables stock
4 courgettes (around 150 each)
- Dry fry the mince in a frying pan and sauté over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the olive oil in the frying pan and sauté gently for around 3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the meat back to the pan along with the tomatoes, tomato puree, carrot, stock and rosemary.
- Simmer gently with a lid on for around 1 hour and then add the oregano and Worcester sauce, if using* as well as some salt and pepper. Adjust taste if necessary,
- Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Either grate or spiralise the courgette. Heat the stock in a saucepan and add the courgette. Steam in the stock with a lid on for around 3 minutes. You are aiming to warm the courgette as opposed to cooking it through.
Serve in bowls and top with a little Parmesan cheese if required.
*My mother always used to add L+P Worcester sauce for a tangy flavour in our Bolognese which we ate most Saturdays. Whilst this is not traditional, for me a Bolognese doesn’t taste quite right without it!