I decided to make Spaghetti Bolognaise the other night.
I went to the pantry cupboard and got out the spaghetti (well Pad Thai noodles in our case as we eat gluten free!), and the chicken stock cubes.
Whoops....no Dried Oregano. Um....no Dried Thyme left either. Jar of tomato paste....just about empty. No minced Garlic in a jar. What the heck? Doesn't anyone here but me write things on the shopping list?
Okay, so here, that would spell the end of spaghetti bolognaise for dinner, but we really, really felt like Spag Bol.
Checked the refrigerator...lots of tomatoes, some fresh basil, onions, garlic. So far, so good.
Checked the herb garden...fresh oregano going nuts there, as well as the thyme and garlic chives, and even some parsley. This was one of those times when I was so grateful that I'd spent some time planting my herbs. Fresh herbs solve a multitude of meal issues.
Right. So put on Good Mummy hat, and work out how to do this without cheating.
I managed, and we all agreed it was the best Spag Bol ever, even if not quite the one we were accustomed to.
Try it and see what you think.
Spaghetti or noodles
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
A half a handful each of fresh oregano, thyme, parsley, and garlic chives, chopped
A large handful of fresh basil, leaves torn roughly
6-8 medium tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each salt and white pepper
1 dessertspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce OR port OR two anchovies mashed up OR 6 olives pitted and chopped (this just adds a depth of flavour)
1-1 1/2 cups liquid eg. water, chicken, beef or vegetable stock, or red or white wine
Heat a large frypan or wok or saucepan for your sauce.
Spray it well with cooking spray.
Pan fry the onion till translucent, and add the garlic, stirring to heat through.
Add the mince and pan fry until brown, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon.
Drain any excess liquid if necessary.
Add all the other ingredients EXCEPT the basil. You'll use that at the end.
Stir well, and add up to a cup of liquid.
Allow to simmer for thirty minutes. Add more liquid if necessary.
You do not want it swimming in liquid, rather you just want the liquid to help break down the veges so they combine into a lovely slushy thick sauce.
Continue to simmer for up to two hours, adding more liquid as required to keep it from drying out and sticking.
Half an hour before serving, boil the water for your pasta, and cook it according to directions.
While it's cooking, set the table, and put out any accompaniments like parmesan, grated cheese and so on.
Drain the cooked pasta, and return it to the pot.
Pour your sauce over the pasta, and toss it well. Add the torn basil leaves, reserving a few for garnish.
Transfer the Spaghetti Bolognaise to a large serving platter, and garnish with a light sprinkle of parmesan if you like it, and the rest of the fresh basil leaves.
Place in the middle of the table and serve immediately.
Very yummy :)