Saturday, 14 November 2009

Augmented Spaghetti Bolognese

Being a fan of pasta in general, Spaghetti Bolognese was the very first thing I actually learnt to cook while studying at university. Having spent the most time with it, I can safely say that I can cook this confidently for others. Incidentally, this also means that if I happen to have in my possession a packet of frozen spag bol deemed to be sub-par, I would be fully capable of bringing it up to acceptable standards.

Looking at the ingredient make up and the contents of the box, it's easy to realise why I decided to do something about it (other than an excuse to use up the beef mince left over in my freezer).
The spaghetti comes cut into small pieces, allowing for easier eating. There's not much sauce here, which is disappointing, and very little beef, even more disappointing.

Clockwise from right: frozen sauce packet, spice shakers, and frozen mince.

Right, so let's begin. Chop up three cloves of Basics garlic, not pictured. Meanwhile defrost the sauce and the mince in the microwave, then start browning the latter in your frying pan.

Throw in the garlic, pepper and herb mix into the beef. To add a bit of tanginess, add a splash of Basics vinegar. Before you raise your objections, I realised that a major component of Worcestershire sauce is actually malt vinegar. Given that it is widely-accepted as a marinade for red meat, I thought that vinegar would make things a little interesting in the spag bol. Turns out I was right, and this has given me some incentive to research making my own Lea & Perrin's using only Basics ingredients, given that such a Basics version doesn't exist right now.

Add the sauce, followed by the spaghetti.

Finally, to compensate for the high fat content that you're about to consume, add a generous helping of frozen mixed vegetables.

If you have a little bit more time on your hands and don't mind the extra washing up, I would recommend augmenting your ready-made bolognese this way. Otherwise, you're more likely to find yourself eating spaghetti pomodoro.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Spaghetti Bolognese (frozen)
£0.50340g+£0.50 for 400g3% more meat, more sauce, less spaghetti. Recommended.

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