My Weekday Spaghetti Bolognese

IMG_3206This is what I cook on those days when I just want to have a nice, healthy dinner on the table in under thirty minutes.

I am not claiming authenticity here (even just the fact that I use soy mince would make that a bogus claim). This is just a robust, flavourful tomato, mushroom and mince sauce, served with spaghetti or any other pasta, that hits the spot and is easy to make.IMG_3210

Now I know that a traditional, meaty bolognese sauce is simmered for hours but I don’t like to stew vegetarian mince too long because it doesn’t improve the texture, which makes this a schoolnight rather than a weekend dish.

If you don’t want to use soy mince, simply use more mushrooms.

Feeds 2/3 peopleIMG_3202

– olive oil
– 250 g mushrooms, sliced not too thinly
– 2 bay leaves
– ½ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
– 1 large onion, chopped finely
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped/grated
– 1 tbsp tomato puree
– 175 g packet soy/Quorn mince
– 125 ml/½ cup red wine
– 400 ml tin chopped tomatoes
– 250 ml/1 cup vegetable or mushroom stock
– salt and pepper to taste
– 200 g (wholewheat) pastaIMG_3203

– Boil water for pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
– Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms in olive oil until they are almost cooked but still have some bite left. Set aside.
– Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a wide, lidded pan on a medium heat and when hot, add bay leaves, chilli flakes and onion. Fry until translucent.
– Add the garlic and oregano, fry for about 30 seconds, then add tomato puree, fry for a few minutes.
– Stir in the mince, then pour in the wine. Keep stirring and let the wine absorb/evaporate. This won’t take long.
– Add the tomatoes and about half the stock (keep the rest handy).
– Stir in the cooked mushrooms, bring to the boil.
– Clamp on the lid, turn down the heat and let simmer for 10/15 minutes.
– Check if it needs a bit more stock, season to your liking, and serve with the pasta.


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