The first meal I learnt to cook when I was a kid was the classic spaghetti bolognese with beef mince and it quickly became a staple dish in my diet. It was particularly useful when I was a student as I could make a large batch and freeze whatever I didn’t eat and have it later in the week when I didn’t have time to make anything. I never intentionally made that much, I just hadn’t learnt how to adjust the recipe from something for a family of five to one student yet. This ended up being useful before nights out as it was some good stodge before student drinking. However, when I discovered that I couldn’t eat beef anymore, I was desperate to find a version that had a similar taste but suited my diet, thus the turkey bol was born… (I am aware that people will have made versions of this before I just thought that sounded impressive.)
Serves 2-4 people (this very much depends on how big you serve your portions)
- 500g turkey mince
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 500ml (1 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
– In a medium sized saucepan on a medium heat (wow that’s already a lot of ‘mediums’) heat the olive oil then add the onions to the pan and stir occasionally. After a couple of minutes add the garlic and carrots and continue to fry and stir until the onions are soft and translucent.
– Next add the turkey mince and fry off with the vegetables until browned, it should go a kind of grey colour (the mince, not the veg…)
– When you’ve fried off the mince, add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree to the mix, continuing to stir.
– Once you’ve mixed all that together add your oregano, salt and pepper and half the stock before leaving it to simmer on a low temperature for 30-45 mins.
– Check on your beautiful concoction occasionally stirring and adding more stock if it gets a little dry. Make sure you taste it and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
– Whilst the bolognese is simmering you can cook whatever pasta it is you want to have with it. I tend to go for gluten free penne, but feel free to use spaghetti, fusilli, whatever floats your boat.
This dish will be ready to eat after the time stated above, however the flavour only gets richer the longer you can leave it. Sometimes I’ll make this in the morning and then leave it off the heat with the lid on for a couple of hours and then heat it up to eat later and it’s oh so tasty. It’s something that can fit around whatever your schedule is.
So there we go, one of my staples and now hopefully one of yours.
“Our massive brains are about sixty percent fat, by far the fattiest organ in our body – without fat there would be no thought” – Sara Pascoe | Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body