Good-for-you bolognese

Good-for-you bolognese

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(25 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4 - 6
This delicious pasta sauce is packed with veg- but the kids will never guess

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal597
  • fat10g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs89g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre7g
  • protein43g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 2 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 carrots, chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 courgettes, chopped



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 85g button mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • handful basil leaves



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 1 tbsp gravy granules



    A thickened sauce made from the juices that ooze from meat and/or vegetables as they cook. Most…

  • 400g spaghetti


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook gently for a few mins, then add the carrots, courgettes and mushrooms and fry for 5 more mins. Stir in the garlic with 1 min to go.

  2. Tip in the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and 300ml boiling water, then season to taste. Bring to the boil, cover, then simmer for 15 mins until tender. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan and add the mince. Break it up with a wooden spatula and cook for 10 mins, stirring until browned all over.

  3. Add the basil leaves (reserve a few) to the veg sauce, then put a stick blender into the pan and blend until smooth. Pour the sauce and gravy granules into the mince, then stir to thicken. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.

  4. Meanwhile, boil the pasta. Reserve a small cup of the cooking water, then drain. Mix the spaghetti with the sauce and reserved water, then serve, topped with a few more basil leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Sep, 2016
This is a great recipe and so delicious. Like someone else here, I didn't have a blender so had a chunky sauce. We ended up leaving this to cook much longer than stated because got caught on the phone but it thickened it up nicely and concentrated the flavours.
21st Jan, 2016
Loved by all the family! I liquidised so it was smooth and the children didn't have a clue about all the hidden veg! Also it is easy to cook a heathy vegetarian option as I kept back some of the mixture and had as a chunky sauce on the pasta. I added some tomato puree and brown sauce as I didn't have Worcestershire. It does look a bit brown but tasted great.
31st Jan, 2015
Love this recipe!! My two kids aged 3 & 5 love it as well, they would never guess that there is so many vegetables in it either!! Fab
20th Nov, 2014
I loved this dish. I also added two spoons of tomato purée and an extra spoonful of Worcestershire sauce for extra flavour. It did look a little orange but who cares, it was healthy and tasty, would definitely make again
deadgirl81's picture
4th Apr, 2013
This was really nice and tasty - don't have a hand blender, so we had a nice chunky vegetable sauce - added some extra gravy granules and worcs. sauce and it thickened up nicely - had with wholewheat spaghetti to make it that bit more healthier
18th Feb, 2013
healthy meal thank your post, i like it [url][/url]
21st Jan, 2012
I made this for my little girl, to try and get some veg into her. She absolutely loves it! I use meatballs instead of mince. I do agree it doesn't look anything like the picture, but I'm not too bothered. She eats something with veg in it! Next time I might try 3 carrots instead, to make it less orange :-)
15th Aug, 2010
One of the best bolgnaises I have had. Mine was quite orange (I guess it depends on the size of the carrots you use). But it tasted great. And we have been eating cold leftovers for a couple of days because it is so delicious!
12th Aug, 2009
Yuk, yuk, yuk! No flavour, and very disappointing.
29th Jun, 2009
Good idea with the blending of the vegetables but lacking in taste. I added a chilli and tomato puree and but was still disappointed with the flavour at first. We didn't eat it until later on though by which time the flavour had developed a bit. I put it in an ovenproof dish with tricolour pasta, topped with cheese and ovenbaked which it made it much more appetising.


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