Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese


What can I say? Spaghetti Bolognese is a real family favourite. And quick and easy to prepare!


Spaghetti Bolognese
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the Bolognese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 450g (1 lb) minced/ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 275ml (10 fl oz) beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 115g (4 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (1½ cups) (optional)

  • For the spaghetti
  • 225g (8 oz) spaghetti (filling the hole of a pasta server with spaghetti is a single portion)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a little olive oil

  • To serve
  • Parmesan

  • Equipment
  • large frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • a large pan for the spaghetti

  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Increase the heat to medium, add the beef, and brown for about 5 minutes. Break up any clumps with a wooden spoon.

  4. Stir in the stock and tomato purée and bring to the boil.

  5. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, if using, and season. Give it a good stir and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and dash of olive oil, then ease the spaghetti into the pan.

  7. Reduce the heat a little and cook the spaghetti for the length of time according to the directions on the packet. (Can recommend DeCecco brand.)

  8. Drain through a large colander, reserving 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of the cooking water and then return to the pan with the spaghetti. Add the sauce and toss well.

  9. Spoon into bowls and top with little slivers of Parmesan.

  10. Note
  11. A Caesar salad makes a good starter. And garlic bread to serve with the Spaghetti Bolognese.


Teriyaki Steak

Teriyaki Steak


Slices of steak are marinated in a teriyaki sauce and then sautéed with mushrooms and tomatoes. Serving on a bed of flavoured brown rice for a very tasty dish.


Teriyaki Steak
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1–2 hours
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 575g (1lb 4 oz) sirloin or rump steak, fat removed
  • 4 tbsp medium-dry sherry
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 225g (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the rice
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 200g (7 oz) brown rice (1 cup)
  • 475 ml (15 fl oz) chicken stock (2 cups)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • To garnish
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • parsley

  1. Method
  2. Pour the sherry and soy sauce into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.

  3. Cut the steak into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices and add to the bowl. Turn the steak to coat, then cover the bowl, refrigerate, and leave to marinade for at least an hour.

  4. Remove the bowl from the fridge just before preparing the rice to enable the steak to come to room temperature.

  5. For the rice
  6. Put the onion, rice, stock and cumin seeds into a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 35–40 minutes until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.

  7. When it is cooked, leave to rest for 10 minutes while cooking the steak and vegetables.

  8. For the steak
  9. First, cut the tomatoes in half and then each half into thirds.

  10. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.

  11. Blend the cornflour/cornstarch into the marinade and set to one side.

  12. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the steak and stir fry for 2–3 minutes, turning frequently, until lightly browned.

  13. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for a further minute.

  14. Add the tomatoes and stir in the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute.

  15. To serve
  16. Divide the rice between four plates, spooning it around the edge of each plate to form a circle. Now divide the steak and vegetables into four portions placing each in the centre of the rice and spoon over any sauce remaining in the pan.

  17. Serve immediately, garnished with a little parsley.


Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash


Beef Goulash
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 55 minutes

  • Ingredient
  • 675g (1½ lb) stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
  • 3 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 55g (2 oz) flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) beef stock (2½ cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • bouquet garni*
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) beer (⅔ cup)

  • *In Canada these little bags of bouquet garni aren’t available so I make my own. A simple bouquet garni consists of a sprig each of parsley and thyme, a bay leaf, 2 cloves and a few peppercorns tied together in muslin to form a sack.

  • Equipment
  • A deep sided large sauté pan.

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Tip the 3 tablespoons flour into a small storage bag and season. Shake bag to mix. Add the meat to the bag and shake again to coat the meat with the flour. Set aside.

  4. Heat the oil in the pan over a medium–low heat and gently cook the onions and pepper for 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally.

  5. Increase the heat a little and add the meat and cook until lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

  6. Reduce the heat to low and stir through the paprika and cook for a further minute.

  7. Stir in the tomato purée/paste, seasoning, flour and a little grated nutmeg and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  8. Gradually add the stock, stirring until everything is well blended. Increase the heat to medium and cook the sauce until it is a smooth and thick.

  9. Remove from the heat and stir through the tomatoes and bouquet garni.

  10. Cover, and cook the goulash in the oven for 1¾ hours. Remove, stir in the beer and return for a further 10 minutes.


Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Beef and Bacon Bolognese


This bolognese is loaded with wholesome ingredients. The beef and bacon are cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, chopped onions, diced carrots and celery, garlic, herbs and red wine.


Beef and Bacon Bolognese
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30–35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes hob

  • Ingredients
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 115g (4 oz) smoked bacon rashers, chopped (about 4 rashers)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) beef stock (⅔ cup)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs (basil, marjoram and oregano)
  • salt and pepper
  • 340g (12 oz) lean mince beef/ground beef
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 115g (4 oz) mushrooms, rinsed and sliced (6 button mushrooms)

  • To serve
  • serve with fettuccine

  • Equipment
  • Large frying pan/skillet
  • A deep sided frying pan or sauté pan

  1. Method
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, bacon and garlic Stir to coat in the oil and then cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, wine, tomato purée/tomato paste, bay leaf, herbs and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

  4. Heat the remaining oil in a deep frying pan or sauté pan, over a medium heat and, when hot, add the beef with the pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes to brown the meat.

  5. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.

  6. Stir in the sauce, bring everything to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. Serve with fettuccini.

Updated March 29, 2017

One-Dish Beef Casserole

One-dish Beef Casserole


This easy beef casserole is made from chunks of steak, braised slowly with carrots, onions and potatoes in a tomato-based beef stock. Once prepared and in the oven there is nothing more to do!


One-Dish Beef Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2½ hours

  • Ingredients
  • 700 (1½ lb) stewing steak
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) flour
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 450g (1 lb) carrots, sliced (6 medium)
  • 700g (1½ lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced (4½ medium)
  • ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 × 400g can, or ½ × 28 fl oz can whole tomatoes
  • beef stock
  • 225g (8 oz) peas (optional) (1½ cups)

  • Equipment
  • lidded casserole dish

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Place the flour in a plastic food storage bag and add salt and pepper. Shake the bag to mix. Cut the steak into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and add to the bag. Shake again so the flour coats the steak.

  4. Layer the steak, onions, carrots and potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with a pinch of nutmeg and some seasoning as you go. Sprinkle any remaining flour in the casserole and add the tomatoes. Pour enough stock to come just over halfway up the ingredients. Gently stir the stock into the ingredients.

  5. Cover and cook for 2½ hours.

  6. Peas can be added 15 minutes before the end of cooking.

Updated: March 14, 2017

Spaghetti Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes

Spaghetti Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes


This spaghetti bolognese uses cherry tomatoes instead of chopped or diced tomatoes. The Italian tomatoes add a burst of sweetness to the sauce which makes it just a little bit different.


Spaghetti Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 400g/14 oz minced beef/ground beef
  • 110g/4 oz streaky bacon/side bacon (about 4 rashers)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 110ml/4 fl oz red wine
  • 225ml/8 fl oz hot beef stock
  • 2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes*
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp curly parsley, chopped

  • *In Canada, cans of cherry tomatoes imported from Italy can be found in the regular canned tomato aisle of supermarkets

  • To serve
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • spaghetti

  1. Method
  2. Heat half a tablespoon of the oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat and brown the beef. Do this in two batches or the beef will steam rather than fry. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  3. Cut the bacon rashers into cubes and add to the pan to brown, then remove and set aside with the beef.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining oil to the pan. Stir in the onion, celery and carrot and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato purée and cook for 1 minute.

  5. Return the meat to the pan. Pour in the red wine and let it bubble until it has reduced by half. Stir in the beef stock, half the oregano, nutmeg and bay leaf and add the tomatoes.

  6. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to very low and simmer very gently for 45 minutes.

  7. Stir in the remaining oregano and most of the parsley, reserving some to scatter over when serving.

  8. Serve the spaghetti sauce over the pasta and scatter with the reserved parsley and Parmesan cheese.


Angie’s Lasagna

Angie's Lasagna


This is a lasagna recipe that I stumbled across many years ago and that has always been a great family favourite. The dish has three layers of pasta, a meaty tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese, topped with Parmesan.


Angie's Lasagna
Prepares: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 9 lasagne sheets (De Cecco, is my favourite brand)
  • 450g/1 lb mince beef/ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 × 400g cans/1 × 28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 156ml/5½ fl oz can tomato paste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 450g/1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated*
  • 25g/1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

  • * In the U.K. the prepackaged grated mozzarella cheese contains only cheese and anti-caking ingredients. In Canada it has a lot more additives, so I buy the block mozzarella and grate it myself. Just pop it in the freezer for ten minutes before grating to firm it up.

  • To serve
  • A Caesar salad can be served as an accompaniment.

  • Equipment
  • Deep sided frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • A 4 litre (32.5 x 22.5 x 5 cm/13 x 9 x 2 inch) ovenproof dish

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  3. Over a medium heat, brown the meat in the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and season. Fill the tomato paste can with water and stir into the mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Many brands of lasagne pasta require no pre-cooking but I have found they benefit from cooking for a short time anyway. A baked lasagne using uncooked pasta isn’t as moist. De Cecco needs to be pre-cooked.

  6. So bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a glug of olive oil. Drop 5 of the lasagne sheets into the water one at a time (they need to be cooked in two batches or they will stick together while cooking) and boil for 4 minutes. Remove the sheets with a pair of tongs and rinse under a cold tap. Lay the individual sheets on a clean tea-towel. Repeat with the remaining four sheets.

  7. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of the lasagne pan. Layer 3 lasagne noodles, a third of the remaining meat sauce and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat twice more. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese.

  8. Bake, covered with foil, in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Rich Beef Stew

Rich Beef Stew


This is a lovely rich beef stew with chunks of beef, baby carrots, swede/rutabaga and red onion, cooked slowly in a wine and passata enriched stock. Perfect for a cold winter’s day, served with garlic mashed potatoes.


Rich Beef Stew
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the stew
  • 675g/1½ lb stewing steak
  • Oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 125ml/4 fl oz red wine
  • 250ml/8 fl oz passata
  • 250ml/8 fl oz good beef stock
  • 450g/1 lb Chantenay carrots/baby carrots
  • 450g/1 lb swede/rutabaga, cut into small chunks

  • Note
  • Chantenay carrots, which are found in the U.K., are lovely small sweet carrots. The baby carrots found in North America are smaller but can be a good substitute or just use ordinary carrots roughly chopped, small.

  • Butternut squash would be a good alternative to the swede/rutabaga.

  • For the garlic mashed potatoes
  • 800g/1¾ lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • Knob of butter

  1. Method
  2. For the stew
  3. Put a little oil in a large deep pan and brown the beef over a medium heat, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

  4. Add a little more oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. The onion should have started to brown.

  5. Return the beef to the pan with any of its juices. Stir in the garlic and thyme. Add the butter, Worcestershire sauce and wine. Stir, and let it bubble to reduce a little.

  6. Add the passata and stock. Season well. Cover and let it simmer very gently for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

  7. Add the carrots and swede and cook for a further hour. The meat should be really tender and the vegetables cooked through.

  8. Remove the thyme sprigs before serving.

  9. For the garlic mashed potatoes
  10. Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 20 minutes until tender.

  11. In a separate pan, over a low heat, add the oil, garlic, rosemary and sage. Cook very gently for about 10 minutes to flavour the oil. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and sage.

  12. Drain the potatoes and add the oil. Mash. Add a knob of butter, season, and beat until creamy.


Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings


The addition of Guinness makes this a hearty beef casserole on a cold winter’s day. The beef is cooked very slowly with carrots, swede/rutabaga, and onions in the Guinness and beef stock. Soak all this up with herby dumplings.


Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 450g/1 lb stewing steak, cut into 2 in pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 225g/8 oz swede/rutabaga, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
  • 140ml/5 fl oz Guinness
  • 300ml/10 fl oz beef stock
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme

  • For the dumplings
  • 140g/5 oz plain/all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 40g/1½ oz butter
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz milk
  • 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme) or
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and a pinch of black pepper

  • Equipment
  • A deep-sided sauté pan

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C /fan 130°C/300°F/gas mark 2.

  3. For the casserole
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the casserole dish and brown the beef. Set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and gently fry the onions and carrots for 10 minutes until softened. Add the swede and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  5. Return the beef to the pan, sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring continuously, to mix in. Stir in the Guinness. (If you choose to omit the Guinness add extra stock.) Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

  6. For the dumplings
  7. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the herbs. Using a flat-bladed knife, gradually stir in enough milk to make a soft but not sticky dough. Divide the dough into 8 and roll into balls.

  8. Drop the dumplings onto the top of the casserole, spaced evenly apart. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the dumplings are puffed up.

  9. To serve
  10. Accompany with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.


Pasta al Forno Siciliana

Pasta al forno Siciliana Pasta al forno Siciliana


Layers of ragù, rigatoni, ham, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses make pasta al forno Siciliana a truly flavourful Italian dish.


Pasta al Forno Siciliana
Prepares: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour on hob, 25 minutes in oven

  • Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 900g/2 lb minced beef/ground beef
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250ml/9 fl oz red wine
  • 500ml/17 fl oz passata
  • 225g/8 oz frozen peas
  • 450g/1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 170g/6 oz sliced ham, cut into strips
  • 225g/8 oz mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve

  • To serve
  • A green salad or caesar salad

  • Equipment
  • A deep ovenproof dish measuring 22 × 30.5cm/8½ × 12 in, and 6.5cm/2½ in deep

  1. Method
  2. Heat oil in a large pan and cook the onion over a low heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

  3. Turn up the heat to moderate and add the meat. Brown, stirring often to break up any lumps, about 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in the oregano, thyme, bay leaf, wine and plenty of seasoning. When the wine has been absorbed, stir in the passata and 250ml/9fl oz water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking time the consistency should be that of a loose ragù. Add a little water if it is getting too thick.

  5. Add peas and remove from the heat.

  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes less than the cooking time recommended on the packet. Drain.

  7. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan assisted/375°F/gas mark 5.

  8. Put a shallow layer of the ragù in the ovenproof dish. Add half the pasta then spoon over half the remaining ragù. Top with all the ham. Scatter over half the mozzarella plus 2 tbsp of the Parmesan. Add the rest of the pasta then spoon over the rest of the ragù. Scatter over the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

  9. Cook in the oven for 20–30 minutes until piping hot and golden.

  10. Serve with extra Parmesan sprinkled on the top and a salad.