I’m pretty sure that a version of this dish is a staple meal for every Australian household. It’s easy and quick to make, and a great way to get your protein and vegetables all in one meal. Based on an Italian pasta sauce, we have adopted this of one of our own. Over winter it would make an appearance on my dinner table at least once a week.
If you have picky children, grate some zucchini, celery and carrot instead of dicing it and it will blend into the sauce. It’s definitely a dish that is plain enough to suit young palates and you know that they are getting the nutrition that they need. No money excuses on this recipe either as I made I made this batch of sauce for under $10 Australian so its easy, tasty and great value for money.
I do tend to make this in large portions and then freeze most of it. Like a good curry, the best flavour comes forward once the sauce has had a chance to marinate in itself for at least 24 hours, so it’s the perfect meal to make in advance.
makes approx: 10 serves
- 500g mince meat – I used 250g pork/250g veal, but you can use beef as well
- 2 X 400g tins of peeled tomatoes
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 3 stalks of celery – finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- 2 brown onions finely diced
- 1 cup red wine (optional)
- 2 tbl sp olive oil
- 2 tbl sp dried oregano
- 2 tbl sp brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat up your pan and cook your onion until they start to go translucent, at this point add in your meat, garlic and dried oregano and fry off until starting to brown. De-glaze your pan by adding the red wine, for the child friendly version you can use 1/4 of water to the same effect.* Once the red wine starts to simmer, add in your chopped vegetables and your tinned tomatoes (sauce and tomatoes). I crush the tomatoes in my hands to give a good texture to the sauce. You can use pre-crushed tomatoes but I don’t think the flavour is as good as the whole tomatoes.
Let your sauce simmer for a good 30 – 45 mins. Season with salt, pepper and the brown sugar to your taste.
Serve with spaghetti, parmesan cheese and a glass of robust red wine. For a wheat-free option, serve with steamed broccoli and beans or with Quinoa.
*De-glazing your pan picks up the yummy caramalised meat that has stuck to the bottom of your pan so that they become a part of the sauce. It will also then stop the sauce sticking if you keep stirring regularly as the sauce has nothing to attach itself to.
Happy Cooking, and happy eating,