Loads 'a Veg Spag Bol
Member recipe by yummymum
A sneaky twist on Spag Bol so that you can hide loads of vegetables for the kids without them even noticing...RESULT! There's plenty to freeze in small batches and have to hand when you don't feel like cooking. (Oh and don't worry about the alchohol it will cook off) I usually get 4-6 adult portions or 10-12 toddler sized portions.
- 1 Large onion, diced
- 1 Large carrot, diced
- 1 Stick of celery, diced
- 1 Large courgette, diced
- 1 Garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
- A handful of mushrooms, sliced
- 10mls Beef stock
- 1 tbspn Olive oil
- 500g Mince beef
- Small glass red wine
- 4 Sprigs thyme, leaves only
- 2 Tins chopped tomatoes
- 3 tbspn Tomato puree
- 1 tbspn Sun dried tomato puree
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1X Pack Spaghetti (or a smaller portion if you are freezing just the pasta sauce)
- Sautee the onions, until translucent, in a large heavy based saucepan.
- Add all the other vegetables and cook for 7mins. If your child is fairly young add the mushrooms now, but if they are older leave them out for now (see step 5). Add the garlic and thyme leaves cook for another 1 min.
- Add the beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Put everything in a blender and whizz to a thick sauce (if you have older children you can leave it a bit lumper, but at the risk of them recognising the veg. Don't say I didn't warn you!) It shouldn't be too watery, if it is just seive the mixture to get any excess water out. Pour it all back into the saucepan you were using.
- Now heat a frying pan till it's searing hot and add the olive oil. Fry the mince in batches (I usually do three batches), breaking up the meat with a fork. Don't worry if the meat catches these lovely dark bits of meat will intensify the beef flavour in the pasta sauce. When each batch of meat is cooked add it to the pureed vegetables until all the meat is done. Now pour the red wine into the frying pan to deglaze it and boil rapidly for 2 mins. add this to the veggie puree and mince and cook until all the wine has been absorbed.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, oregano, mushrooms (if your child is old enough to cope with large lumps) and both tomato purees. Simmer for 30 mins. Stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Meanwhile put a pan of water on the boil for the pasta and cook as per the instructions on the pack. Serve with some parmesan and Garlic bread.
- FREEZING TIPS: If you are freezing the pasta sauce then once it has cooked, let it cool right down. Line a muffin tray with either cling film or baking paper, and when the sauce is cool plop it into the muffin tin. Flash freeze it and then once it's frozen you can take out the perfect sized toddler portion!! Store in a sealable bag for up to three months. If you want bigger portions by-pass the muffin tray and just store however much you need in individual, sealable, freezer bags. To reheat either thaw overnight and reheat in a saucepan or (my preference!) bung it in the microwave until it is piping hot then leave it to cool to your child's prefered temperature.