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SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE (with a subtle but very necessary twist!)

Everyone has a special way of making spaghetti bolognese. My Mum puts chorizo in hers, my Granny adds chocolate. Me? I love a healthy dollop of red, sundried tomato pesto. Pesto, made of pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and olive oil, along with a bit of basil and oregano, adds a necessary slight bitterness to the dish, so every mouthful is warm and delicious. Let me know if you try it!



500g beef mince

1 red onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 carrots, grated

1 pepper, finely chopped

2 large handfuls of mushrooms, finely chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 large tbsps of red pesto

1 chicken stock cube

1 tbsp of tomato puree

1 pinch of oregano

1 bay leaf

1 pinch of dried basil

6 basil leaves, chopped

A glug of red wine

Salt and Pepper to Season


  1. In a large pan, add some oil and head until hot. Add the chopped onion and sweat down for 3-4 minutes.

  2. Add the mince, and break up. Brown off the mince and mix thoroughly with the onion. Add the chopped pepper and mix and cook down for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add the crushed garlic, the mushrooms and grated carrots and mix. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

  4. Now for the seasoning. Add the bay leaf, oregano and dried basil and fresh basil.

  5. The sauce: add red wine, pesto, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes into the pan. Mix thoroughly and crumble in the chicken stock. Mix, ensuring everything is coated completely.

  6. Reduce the heat to a medium heat, put the lid on the pan and let it cook for half an hour, mixing occassionally.

  7. Whilst this is cooking, prepare your spaghetti. Cook for around 10-12 minutes for an al dente texture.

  8. Once cooked, serve the pasta with the bolognese on top, adding a sprinkle of parmesan and salt and pepper to season to taste.


Ferg x

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