Do you reach for jars of pre-made Bolognese sauce? They are sadly almost all full of salt and sugar. Here is a simple alternative which should cost approximately 1/2 the price of shop bought ones and will be a healthy tasty option. Bolognese for me is a dish that can be made with whatever you have to hand and although in this recipe I am using bacon, mushroom and red pepper, I as often omit them as include them.
- 2 tbls olive oil
- 200g mince
- 3-4 rashers smoked bacon/lardons
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- Tomato passata – a whole jar/can
- 2 cloves garlic/ 2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red pepper diced
- a few mushrooms sliced
- 1 stock cube
- 1/2 tsp Mixed herbs
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- In heated oil fry the onions, mushrooms and red pepper for 5-10 mins while covered, stir occasionally; this releases the natural sweetness which shall hopefully compensate for any bitterness in the tomatoes.
- Add the mince, bacon and garlic and further fry for a few minutes until the mince has browned.
- Add tomatoes, tomato passata, stock cube, herbs and chilli and bring to the boil.
- Cook for around 40 mins or until a film of oil appears on the top.
- Carefully taste at this point and if your dish is a little bitter, add some sugar approx 1/2 tsp at a time.
- Add black pepper to taste.
- Serve with pasta of your choice, topping with a little grated cheese.
Top Tip. By adding an extra tin of tomatoes, 1/4 pint of water and 2 tbls of tomato purée you should have sufficient sauce leftover to fill cannelloni shells for a second meal making this dish exceptional value for money.