Spaghetti Bolognese was the first proper meal that I ever cooked and I remember it like yesterday! The first cookbook that I was given was The Usborne First Cookbook. The cover of mine  is different to this so I think it’s been rebranded but I still love this cookbook. It’s obviously set out in a very simple way as it is written for children but I don’t mind. I remember flicking through it and marveling at all the recipes illustrated with colourful pictures. I remember cooking the apple scones and chocolate brownies from it but really craved the challenge of cooking one of the savoury meals.

Growing up, a lot of our meals were meat, veg and potatoes or fish fingers and beans or chicken drummers and beans or mince and veg or pasta and cheese. There wasn’t much variety of exotic flavours, it was all very….English! I suppose that’s the way my mum was brought up by her parents. They were very Victorian in their values and when it came to food it was all very simple and flavourless. So when I asked to make Spaghetti Bolognese I remember thinking it was so exotic having to buy a pepper and Parmesan for it! It seems so weird now as I use those ingredients all the time in my cooking but back then they were so new.

The final dish came out really well. The mince tasted so different with a pepper in and the Parmesan added a little tang to it. It was such a momentous occasion when I brought the plates to the table for my mum, my sister and I. I was so proud of creating a dish that was different to what we usually ate and thoroughly enjoyed eating it!

Now we have spag bol about twice a month. It is such an easy meal to make and quite healthy too. But I still think back to that day when I made it for the first time and marvel at the fact that I have come so far in with cooking.

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g beef mince
  • Basil & Oregano
  • 1 pepper, chopped
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Spaghetti / Linguine, cooked
  • grated Parmesan
  1. Add the onions and garlic into a large pan with 1 tbsp oil. Let them cook for about 5 mins.
  2. Add in the mince and stir occasionally until it has all browned.

    The mince browning

  3. When browned, sprinkle over 1 tsp each of dried basil and oregano.
  4. Then add in the pepper and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add in the chopped tomatoes and let the mixture simmer for 5 mins.
  6. Finally, add in the tomato puree, stir to incorporate it, then let the mixture simmer for 15 mins.
  7. Serve over cooked spaghetti / linguine, sprinkled with some grated Parmesan. Enjoy!
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