Sunday, 8 February 2015


Yes, the recipe with the most cringy name is getting a revamp. My original recipe makes for a super fast, lower calorie version of the humble spaghetti bolognase. This new jazzed up version is still super simple to make but adds a few bits and bobs that might not be as kind to your waistline but you won't be thinking of that when your tucking into this Italian comfort food classic. If your looking for something that is going to take you right back to your mama's home cooking then this is going to become your go too recipe.

The key to giving your bolognase a bit of oomph? Well that is our old friend the chorizo sausage. Those spices that will ooze out into the tomato sauce will really make your meal sparkle. It makes this recipe unfriendly to veggies but you can always leave it out if you wish and add in a tsp or two or paprika to replace those chorizo flavors.

It's also time to crack out the liquid smoke too! It will be the millionth recipe I use this fabulous condiment and the millionth time I recommend you hunt some out online. Trust me it will be we'll worth it! Don't worry if you can't though, there is still plenty on flavor packed in here that you going to love but you can try adding in a glug of red wine like I do in my original recipe and I know that the old vino is very easy to get hold of. Don't add both liquid smoke and wine though, I find that they don't complement each other particularly well.

One thing that does stay true to my original is the use of Quorn mince (remember folks, other meat free minces are available). I love it! It's tasty, lower in calories and you can basically just chuck it in and it will be cooked during the simmer stage but I will also say that you can of course use a meaty mince if you wish. Just add it in at the same time you would the Quorn mince however make sure it's browned all over before adding in chopped tomatoes and stock.

It's probably not traditional but I love to add a bit of chili heat to my bolognase hence the inclusion of a whole chopped red chili, seeds and all in this recipe. Not a chili fan? Leave it out. Simples! Another tip for adding in extra flavor is to hunt out some smoked garlic. I can get hold of it in my local Morrisons. It's the only place I've seen it but try hunting it out in your local supermarket or world food store.

For your herbs, I love the mix of thyme, sage and bay. As we are making a bolognase with a bit of pizazz I have gone fresh all the way bit you can of course use dried. Lots of green herbs will be delicious in the sauce so if your not a fan of these three bad boys try mixing it up with some basil, oregano etc. You'll soon come across a herb combination that you will prefer more than mine.

Finally the veg. I have a holy trinity when it comes to a bolognase, mushrooms, carrots and celery (yes there are onions but that is essential for the base of the sauce). I then add in roasted red peppers and fresh tomatoes to really give a freshness to the tomato sauce and give the tin of chopped tomatoes and puree a lift. I think that's all you need really but do feel free to add in extra or take anything out your not a fan of.

Ooh that was a lot of chitty chat just for a bolognase wasn't it! About time we got too it really isn't it?

Spaghetti Bolognase

2 Peeled And Chopped Red Onions
200g Diced Chorizo (Skin Removed)
2 Grated Smoked Garlic Cloves
1 Finely Chopped Chili
5 Large Chopped Mushrooms
2 Peeled And Chopped Carrots
2 Chopped Celery Stalks
200g Quorn Mince
2 Jarred Roasted Red Peppers
 A Splash Of Liquid Smoke (Optional)
Handfull Halved Plum Tomatoes
400g Tin Of Chopped Tomatoes
200ml Veggie Stock
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
Handfull Chopped Sage Leaves
A Few Sprigs Of Fresh Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
Salt And Pepper To Season

  1. Get a large pan on a medium heat with a good glug of oil and chuck in the onions, chorizo, garlic, chili, mushrooms, carrots and celery and stir regularly until the onions begin to soften and everything begins to take on the color of the chorizo spices.
  2. Chuck in the Quorn mince and red peppers with a large splash of liquid smoke if using. Give everything a good stir and heat for around five minutes until the mince has begun to soften slightly.
  3. Next, throw in the halved tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, stock and puree and bring to a boil, mixing as you go to ensure all the liquids are well combined.
  4. Once the sauce is at a boil, throw in the sage, thyme, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes to let all those herby flavors infuse into the sauce and to let it thicken slightly. 
If you have time then leave your sauce on longer for 30 minutes. The more time you give it to simmer the more thick, rich and quite frankly delicious that sauce will get. Just keep an eye on it and add some water if it is becoming to thick or it might begin to burn. During the last stages of the simmer, make sure you get your spaghetti on too so it's ready at the same time.
Serve with some grated cheese of your chose and a large garlic flat bread and your be whisked away to Italy with your first bite. It really is that easy peasy!

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