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Bistro Bolognese

(Serves 4 persons)

Adapted from a recipe by Slimmers World. (formerly Weightwatchers)


This meal is truly full of flavour and I think it is the best of the Bolognese sauces! It has no green/red/yellow peppers (capsicums) but has carrots and celery instead, along with bacon and optional chicken livers. It can be made on a hob or in a slow cooker.


Ingredients:

20g dried (mixed) mushrooms,

150ml boiling beef stock,

Low calorie cooking spray, (or coconut oil, olive oil, or rapeseed oil),

500g mince beef 5% or less fat,

1 medium red onion chopped,

1 medium white onion chopped,

3 celery sticks, halved down length and then chopped,

2 carrots, peeled, diced or sliced,

2 garlic cloves crushed,

6 smoked bacon back rashers, fat removed and chopped,

225g chicken livers, trimmed and roughly chopped (optional),

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme,

150g passata,

400g tin chopped tomatoes,

Salt and pepper to taste,

Your own choice of cooked pasta, to serve.

Chopped basil leaves to serve.


Method:

Stir the dried mushrooms in to the boiling stock and leave to soak for about 15 minutes whilst you do the following:

Lightly oil a large non-stick pan, or wok, and over a medium heat add beef, onions, celery, carrots, bacon, garlic and the optional chicken livers if using, and fry for about 10 minutes until the beef is browned, breaking up the beef into smaller pieces as possible, stirring from time to time.

Stir in the thyme, passata, tomatoes, and the mushrooms in the stock. Add the salt and pepper to taste.


Cooking 1:

In the wok or large pan simmer for 25minutes, stirring from time to time.


Cooking 2:

All of this mixture can be transferred to a slow cooker on a low setting and left for 5 hours.


Before serving:

If you think the sauce is too runny to your own taste thicken it by making a loose paste made from 2 heaped teaspoons of cornflour, and then add to the sauce a little at a time continually stirring to avoid any lumps forming. Increase the heat slightly during this process. Do this a few minutes before serving if cooking on a gas hob; or 15 minutes before serving if using a slow cooker - increasing the heat slightly. (Repeat if the sauce is still too runny.)


Serving:

Serve on a bed of your favourite  pasta, with the basil leaves sprinkled on top. A side salad can be made up to serve with if you prefer.

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