One of my joys in life is cooking, especially when my seven year old son Charlie helps me. He is a budding young Chef and is better than me when it comes to chopping the ingredients!

His speciality is anything Italian and this recipe is our go to dish when we need a comforting supper.

Charlie drawing up what his bolognese is going to look like.

It can be adapted to make it vegan or vegetarian by swopping the bacon and mince for extra mushrooms and lentils. Furthermore, the beauty of making your own tomato sauce is that you can season it to your personal taste. I find supermarket sauces are far too sweet but if sweetness is what you prefer a tablespoon of sugar can be added to the sauce. Plus the tomato sauce tastes great on its own with pasta for an easy lunch dish. Happy Cooking and Eating 😊

Ingredients

  • 1lb Tomatoes 
  • 2 x Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Chutney
  • 1 tsp Oregano 
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 4 White Mushrooms
  • 400g Beef Mince
  • 2 Rashers Streaky Bacon
  • 100 ml Red Wine
  • Black Pepper

Method

1.First make fresh tomato sauce. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave for two minutes. The skins will peel off easily. Chop them up quite small. 

Charlie stirring the carrots and celery.

2. Heat the oil in a pan, soften one of the onions and one clove of garlic before adding the tomatoes, chutney and oregano. Season and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, then blend the tomato sauce and set aside. 

3. Now to make the Ragu, finely chop the celery and carrot and soften in an oiled pan along with the remaining onion and garlic.

Adding in the pepper

4. Turn the heat up to brown the mince and bacon before seasoning with pepper. 

5. Once the meat has browned add in the peppers and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.

6. Add the red wine to the pan and allow to reduce before adding your fresh tomato sauce. Finally add the basil leaves and simmer for 20 minutes. 

7. Serve with Spaghetti or fresh bread. Then take a seat and dig in!