Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Jack Monroe's Best Ever Bolognese (or a rather good pasta sauce)

Ok, so I'm moving house, which means that I'm trying to save some pennies. And, whenever I'm trying to save pennies, the first thing to suffer is the food budget. Crazy, some might think, given how much I love food, but I personally like the challenge of making tasty and (relatively) healthy meals on a budget. The fact that I can also save us some money is a tremendous benefit.

I don't think I'm too bad at it either - I like a good bean casserole, curry or simple pasta dish. But it doesn't hurt to look around to see what other people are doing... which is where A Girl Called Jack comes in. Her blog is full of helpful recipes, hints and tips for anyone on a budget and I strongly recommend it.

Today I fancied giving her Best Ever Bolognese a go. The recipe is relatively easy to follow, but I did make a few changes...

  • I added some fresh thyme (Jack's method call for the addition of herbs, but they're not listed in the ingredients)
  • I cooked the dish for 20 mins after putting the lentils in, then turned the heat down and put the pasta on to cook
  • I used kale instead of spinach (as that's what I had in the fridge)
  • I used cider vinegar instead or red/white as I wanted to use the last of the bottle
  • I added a ladle of the pasta water to the sauce (coz the Italians really do know best)
  • I seasoned the dish before serving
  • I managed to get 4 decent servings out of it
  • Call me pedantic, but I would call this a pasta sauce, rather than a Bolognese

Now, I must admit that this sauce looked far from appealing after I'd blitzed it, and it looked even worse once I'd added the water... but as it cooked down, the lentils thickened up and the dish looked a lot better.

It tasted good too. And with my 200g or so of chicken livers coming in at 37p, this is one that will be repeated. 

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