So Quorn, hmm. Not really sure how I feel about it if I’m honest, but it works really well in this dish, mainly because I adapted it from a meat recipe. When I was a kid, I used to get furious bolognese envy. I’d look over at my best friend Philippa shovelling forkfuls of cascading spaghetti into her mouth, flecked with delicious, oily meat and cheddar cheese. I would then woefully look down at my plate, a lone soggy stuffed pepper staring up at me, I wish I was dead… Okay so that’s perhaps a little dramatic, but I wanted to create a decent alternative to bolognese that would make little Corrie very happy. I now cook it all the time and everyone loves it, it’s cheap (about £3 per portion) and easy, although it does take a couple of hours in the oven so I always make it on a lazy Sunday. Enjoy!
(Oh and I use a hand blender in this recipe to blend the vegetables but just because I do this doesn’t mean you have to. Simply chop your veg up smaller, blending doesn’t make much difference, I just prefer the texture).
My favourite Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 4 / Prep time 20 minutes /Cooking time 2 hours
1 white onion
2 celery sticks
350g Quorn mince
150ml semi skimmed milk
150ml white wine
1 can plum tomatoes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Half a can of black olives in brines
300g Wholewheat spaghetti (I always cook 150g though for 2 portions as I rarely cook for 4 people)
Extra virgin Olive oil
100g Parmesan (or any other cheese you fancy, feta is a good alternative to crumble on top)
Fry light oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 160c (140c fan)
2. Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery and fry in a liberal spray of fry light in a large pot on a medium heat (remember, if not using a hand blender chop up your veg smaller). Once the oil is absorbed (this will happen pretty quickly) take a cup of water and begin to add a couple of tbs instead. Water makes an excellent oil substitute as it helps to steam the veg. If you add too much water don’t panic, just let it boil off, the softer the veg the better.
3. Once the veg is soft, take the pot off the heat and roughly blend up the vegetables with a hand blender. As I said before, this is not an essential process, I just prefer it.
4. Put back on the heat and add the mince and the milk, cook for a few minutes until the milk has absorbed. This stage always look a bit unappetising but don’t fret, it will come together in the end.
5. Add the tinned tomatoes and use the spoon to break them up a bit, the add the wine, olives, nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper. Pop the lid on slightly a jar and shove in the oven.
6. Cook the sauce between one and a half to two hours, the longer the better really. remember to check it every half an hour and give it a little mix.
6. Put your spaghetti on the boil to cook. I often deliberately over cook wholewheat spaghetti so it’s a little softer than normal but follow the packet instructions for a more al dente texture.
7. Take out the bolognese, cover with chopped fresh basil and pile in the spaghetti. Mix together and season with a touch more salt and pepper. Decant into bowls, sprinkle with a cheese of your choice and drizzle with olive oil. Finish each bowl with another sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Now, as I am a North London spinster I rarely feed four people so I’ll only usually make enough pasta for 2 portions (150g), one to eat now and one to eat tomorrow for lunch. The rest of the bolognese I tend to pop in old hummus pots and freeze. Wow, my life can be really quite depressing sometimes… Oh well, at least I can eat bolognese now.
If you’ve had a go at making my bolognese or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org