People from Italy look away now, but an everyday spag bol as we think of it these days is really just a tomato ragout with added beef. If you don’t have three days to cook down a real Bolognaise, this is a great substitute. If you have some tomato sauce in the freezer you can make an after-work dinner very fast. If you don’t have a butcher nearby and you buy a 500g packet from the supermarket, the other half will be happy in the freezer in its plastic tray, just put the whole thing in a plastic bag and remember to eat within a few weeks.
For two people you’ll need to make one load of tomato ragout with the quantities HERE. You’ll also need 250g of minced beef.
It’s not a strict recipe, so I’ve not written it out like one. Here goes:
- Fry the meat in a large pan in a glug of oil until none of it is pink any more. Whilst it’s cooking, add some salt and pepper, and a tablespoon or worcester sauce if you have it.
- Add the meat to your tomato ragout and heat up.
- Now taste it and depending on what you think, gradually try adding any or all of the following as it bubbles gently on the stove, letting each flavouring mix and heat for a minute or two until you taste again:
- a tablespoon of tomato puree
- a tablespoon of sun-dried tomato paste (great for an umami flavour)
- a pinch of sugar (sometimes the tomatoes can get a bit overly acidic)
- a couple of tablespoons of red wine
- a pinch of our favourite stock powder
- a pinch of chilli
Boil your pasta and eat it with what your lovely sauce. Et voilà! (Sorry I don’t know any Italian)