low-calorie cooking oil spray
500 g (1 lb) extra-lean minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely grated
2 courgettes, coarsely grated
150 g (5 oz) button mushrooms, sliced
500 g (1 lb) passata
150 ml (4 pint) beef stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
300 g (10 oz) dried spaghetti
handful of oregano or basil leaves


1.Spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking oil spray and place over a high heat until hot
2.Add the minced beef and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon, until evenly browned.
3. Stir in the garlic, carrot, courgettes and mushrooms. Add the passata, stock and oregano, then season to taste.
4.Bring to the boil, stirring. Transfer to the slow cooker pot, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
5.Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to the packet instructions until just tender. Drain well, toss with the Bolognese sauce and serve sprinkled with the oregano or basil leaves.
6.FOR ITALIAN SHEPHERD'S PIE, make the Bolognese sauce as above. Cook 500 g (1 lb) potatoes and 500 (1 lb) swede, cut into chunks, in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes until tender.
7.Drain and mash with 4 tablespoons vegetable stock (or 4 tablespoons cooking water). Beat 1 egg and stir half into the mash, then season to taste.
8.Lift the pot out of the housing using oven gloves. Spoon the mash over the Bolognese sauce and rough up the top with a fork.
9.Brush with the remaining beaten egg and brown under preheated hot grill before serving.

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