Food for thought

Mama Mia! Who’s hungry?

Whether you want to go posh or just tuck in to some simple nosh, this tried and tested recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleasers. Now pass me a fork...


Proper Italian  ‘spag bol’

For a start, spaghetti Bolognese isn’t actually a dish they’d ever serve in Italy...and even if they did,  it certainly wouldn’t be the comforting meaty goodness we’ve loved for generations here in Blighty. And why’s that? Well, a meat sauce would never be served with a pasta like spaghetti, so look out for a flatter pasta like tagliatele or linguine to serve with this recipe.

The traditional ‘ragu alla Bolognese’ requires chicken livers, the finest quality pancetta in all the land and veal mince (pricey!)...well, we just don’t have time to source all of that, but our version is just as nice.

What you’ll need:

Generous knob of butter
100g streaky bacon
1 onion
1 carrot
2 celery sticks
125g minced beef
125g minced pork
150ml whole milk
Nutmeg, to grate
150ml white wine
400ml tin plum tomatoes
Parmesan cheese (optional)

What you do:


In deep casserole melt the butter, then chop up the bacon into lardons and add them to the pot. While it’s cooking, dice up the onion, carrot and celery as finely as you can. Once the bacon’s browned, throw in the veg. Allow it to sweat for a few minutes, then throw in the beef and pork. Break it up with a wooden spoon. Let it cook for a few minutes then add the milk and grate some nutmeg. Simmer gently until almost all the milk has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and wine and put the whole thing in the oven at 125 degrees for 3 hours, with the lid slightly ajar. Serve with pasta and grated Parmesan cheese.


For a whole host of budget recipes check out Tiny Budget Cooking for inspiration.