Spaghetti bolognese
1 / 1 Picture by:  Norma MacMillan
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Spaghetti bolognese

About this recipe: Here's a new lower-fat version of one of the pasta classics, a full-flavoured meat sauce tossed with strands of spaghetti and served with Parmesan cheese. There's less beef than in traditional recipes, but low-fat chicken livers enrich the sauce. Serve with a spinach, tomato and onion salad and lots ... more

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients

Serves: 4 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 250 g (9 oz) extra-lean ground beef
  • 125 g (4½ oz) chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) red wine
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or marjoram leaves or ½ tsp dried thyme or oregano
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 340 g (12 oz) spaghetti
  • 30 g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper

Method

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, and fry for 5–10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to brown.
  2. Add the beef and chicken livers and fry, stirring, until the meat is browned. Pour in the wine and tomatoes with their juice, then crumble in the stock cube. Stir in the herbs and seasoning to taste. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
  4. Drain the spaghetti and mix it with the meat sauce, tossing until the strands are well coated. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Some more ideas

To make a vegetarian sauce, double the quantities of carrots and celery, and replace the meat and livers with 200 g (7 oz) green lentils. Use a vegetable stock cube dissolved in 750 ml (1¼ pints) boiling water. Simmer the sauce for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. * Minced pork, chicken or turkey can be used instead of the beef. * Quorn, a low-fat vegetable protein alternative to meat, can be used instead of the beef and chicken livers.

Plus points

Chicken livers are a good source of the B vitamins, vitamin A, zinc and copper. They are one of the richest sources of iron – a 100 g (3½ oz) serving provides about half the recommended daily intake. * Combining chicken livers with a selection of vegetable flavouring ingredients reduces the overall proportion of meat without compromising on flavour. The rich sauce provides ample coating for a hearty portion of pasta.

Each serving provides

A, B2, B12, folate, niacin, copper, iron * B1, C, E, calcium, potassium, zinc * B6

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