This recipe is like an institution in my family. I get regular requests from my brother, step-father and friends to make this again. I think my mum used to make it regularly when we were kids as it was a great way to sneak some carrots, tomatoes or celery into us. Veggies we’d normally have turned our noses up at! There have been many versions of this recipe in my life, and it continues to evolve today with me playing with ingredients and using whatever I have in the cupboard as substitutes when I couldn’t be bothered going back to the supermarket. This was one of the first things my mum taught me how to cook, it really is very simple so don’t be afraid to give it a go, and sample different ingredients.
The other great thing about this meal is that it keeps! Stick it in the fridge, serve it on toasted sarmies tomorrow as lunch, or reheat with a bit of tomato sauce so it wont dry out, it’ll still be delicious!
I’ve served this with garlic bread for a proper cheat night, and with salad for an easy mid-week meal. The version of this recipe below is one of my favourites and I can’t wait to serve this to my own children one day in the future.
- 1/2 packet of spaghetti
- Some olive oil
- 1 x onion – finely chopped
- 500g beef mince
- 1 Tsp. fresh crushed garlic
- 2 x Tbsps. of tomato puree (Tomato sauce works just as well if you don’t have any puree)
- Large tomato (or two small ones) – chopped into cubes
- 1 x large carrot – peeled and grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5ml dried parsley ( be sparing with this as it can be overpowering)
- 5ml Worcester sauce
- 5ml Chilli sauce/Tabasco sauce
- Tbsp. of Tomato sauce
- 1/2 Beef stock cube
- 250ml Water
White Sauce Ingredients:
- 450ml Milk
- 2 Tbsps. flour
- 25g Butter
- 125ml Grated Cheese
- Cayenne Pepper
Bolognaise & Pasta Method:
- On a high heat fry the finely chopped onion in a bit of olive oil with the crushed garlic until the onion is soft. (Try not burn the onion, i.e. turn it brown as this will change the flavour)
- Add mince and begin to brown
- Add tomato puree, grated carrot and chopped tomatoes to the meat.
- Add Worcester, tomato and Tabasco sauces to cooking meat with the salt & pepper and parsley to season
- Boil some water separately and dissolve half a beef stock cube in 250ml of boiling water. Add the flavoured water to the meat mixture, make sure to stir everything together.
- Reduce the heat and allow the mix to simmer. If the meat starts to look a little dry add a bit more water.
- In a separate pot, bring some water to the boil for the pasta, flavour the water with a drop of olive oil and a dash of salt. (This will also help the pasta not stick together)
- Boil the spaghetti for +/- 10 min. (Test the spaghetti with a fork and if it breaks easily it’s ready)
- Grease on oven proof dish and layer the spaghetti and bolognaise starting with the spaghetti and ending with the bolognaise. Put to one side and prep the white sauce.
White Sauce Method:
- Warm a pot on the stove, and melt the butter
- Add the two tablespoons of flour and stir to form a paste
- Add the milk and grated cheese, stirring the whole time to avoid clumps forming in the sauce. When the cheese has all melted and the sauce has reached a delicious thick creamy consistency remove from heat and pour over the top of the pasta bake. (Quick tip if the sauce is becoming lumpy add a small bit more milk and stir well)
- Sprinkle the top with some cayenne pepper
- Place the pasta bake in a preheated oven @ 180-200 degree celcius for +/- 20min
- Remove from oven when top has browned slightly and serve!
This recipe is so open to additions and changes, I’ve thrown a bit of red wine into the bolognaise before, but my favourite way to make this is to add some chilli sauce and lots of tomato and let the magic happen when this is combined with the cheesy goodness on top!