Chuck-it-all-in Spaghetti Bolognese

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Hi all, long time no see I’m afraid. Anyway, here is our tea from a couple of nights ago. Every time I make bolognese there is some variation, but the basic components are always minced beef, onion and tomato sauce/tinned tomatoes. I also like to put carrots in if I have any. Well, I jazzed it up even more this time.

Serves 4

1 pack minced beef (about 500g)

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, roughly chopped

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

italian herb seasoning

a few handfuls of baby spinach

Start off by browning the mince in a large pan (I nearly typed ‘mice’, that would make for an interesting recipe!), and add the onion, softening it up. Once the mince is browned, add the pepper, carrots, tomatoes and a good shake of herbs. Cook over medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the carrots are softened. Add in the spinach, and cook for about 5 minutes to let it wilt. Serve over spaghetti.

You can really go to town with vegetables in a bolognese, courgettes or squash would also work well. You can even leave out the meat altogether if the fancy takes you!

Sausage & Bean Casserole

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Sausages are so versatile, and are always on hand in our freezer. You would be forgiven for thinking we exist entirely on sausages, especially after the last post, but we do eat other things from time to time! Yesterday was one of those days where I hadn’t got anything out of the freezer, we both ended up being late home from work, and this turned out to be a perfect, comforting dish. I had literally just thrown stuff in the crock pot hoping it would turn out well. It did, and I got a “really nice” from my husband!

Serves 4

8 sausages

2 medium onions. diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 can beans (I used black-eyed, but haricot, kidney or borlotti would work too)

1/4 pint beef stock

Fry the onions until soft, then add the garlic, sausages and peppers. Fry until the sausages begin to brown. Transfer to the crock pot, add the beans and stock and stir. Cook on low for 4 – 6 hours. To thicken up the stock, just add a teaspoon of gravy granules about 5 minutes before serving, and mix well. Serve with crusty white bread.