Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Once A Month Cooking ~ Spaghetti Bolognese

While I may not do all of my cooking 'once a month'... doing some of it 'once a month' is pretty close to magic.

This is my favourite spaghetti bolognese recipe.... I love dishing it up into family serves and popping them into the freezer. So easy as a last minute meal solution to pop one in a pot with a lid on and by the time the pasta is cooked - the sauce is ready too.

Got last minute guests for a meal? ... grab 2 or 3 bags from the freezer and dinner is good to go for all. We keep plenty of frozen garlic bread on hand for this purpose too but if for some reason I am low, I'll whip up my cheesy garlic pull apart - 5 minutes to mix and about 15 to bake (stay tuned for that recipe one day soon)
Faster than take away!!

NOTE: I do this recipe in bulk, usually doing a triple batch, which is what I've photographed. It fed the family dinner, gave me 3 more family size serves for the freezer, another serve for 2 adults and another serve for 1 child.

Loads of vegies

Spaghetti Bolognese ~ serves 6

60g   Butter
1       Onion, large, finely chopped
2tsp  Fresh crushed garlic
2       Celery sticks, finely chopped
2       Carrots, finely diced
600g Lean beef mince
1tsp   Dried Oregano
1c     Red wine - A GOOD one! I like a nice merlot for cooking or a shiraz/merlot... I don't drink wine but it's great for adding an awesome flavour in cooking!
1      Beef stock cube - we use 'Massel' brand without all the additives that you don't need
2      400g tins diced or pureed tomatoes (I use a 700ml jar of the Aldi tomato cooking sauce... well, 3 of them because I make a triple batch)
4tb   Tomato Paste
400g Dried Spaghetti – then cook in a large pot of lightly salted water
3tb   Grated, fresh parmesan cheese

take time to simmer for a couple of hours

til it's nice and thick
1.    Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until starts to soften
2.   Add the garlic, celery and carrot, and cook, stirring over low heat for 5 minutes
3.   Increase the heat to high and add beef and oregano. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until browned
4.   Pour in the wine, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes until wine is absorbed
5.   Add the tomatoes and stock cubes, stir well and allow to simmer till thickens
6.   Add tomato paste and any additional seasoning, heat through and serve on bed of pasta, topped with the Parmesan cheese
Put a bag in the container first then load it with the sauce you want to freeze... tie it off and pop it in the freezer

Then Voila! In the morning you have a brick of bolognese sauce and no messy container

PS: Another good reason for doing a bulk batch is the mess! Simmering it down will always cause some tomato splatter... this way I have the splatter to clean up once but it feeds us 4+ times!



  1. Great idea - only having clean up once!! I wish I had more room for freezer cooking.

  2. I often do bulk cooking here too to save time and money:)
    I mainly freeze curries over here though:)
    It's great for the busy afternoons when there isn't a lot of time to cook dinner:)

  3. So many times I read blog posts about cooking food and freezing (individual) portions for later. I have usually dismissed this advice as 'not for me', but AM beginning to notice the benefits of this idea. Maybe because you explain the concept so well here!

  4. I've taken a copy of your recipe to try out for later. Thank you~!! :o)

  5. What bag did you use to freeze the sauce? I only have ziplocks

    1. Hi LeaL, The bags are thin freezer bags. I reckon a ziploc would work fine too, just won't be tied in a knot ... might make things easier, actually!