Ah, spaghetti with lentil bolognese!
If I could choose only one meal to cook for the rest of my life, this might well be it. It's there for us when we can't be bothered cooking. It's there for us when our account balance is low. It's there for us when we (well, I) decide to watch our weight. And it's there for us when we haven't done the grocery shopping – the only ingredient that comes from the fridge is carrots, and if it came down to it, it would still be tasty without them.
I always take my leftovers to work for lunch the next day, and when the scent starts to waft from the kitchen/lab/dispensary/staff room (yep, our clinic is pretty cramped) it's never long before a string of staff members begins to drift past, each having a good sniff and asking what it is and what's in it. The enjoyment I get from sharing my latest gastronomic victory each day at work is one of the main reasons I started this blog.
Last week my nurse Sharnika tried this bolognese and could scarcely articulate her love for it. And when she turned to me yesterday and said 'Guess what I've got for lunch today?' in her highest-pitched voice and with the cheekiest grin in the world plastered across her face, there was no doubt in my mind this was what she'd made. She proceeded to tell me the recipe is already spreading through her family like wildfire. She's no vegetarian, but judging by the look on her face, she's never eating meat bolognese again!
Making it this week was particularly enjoyable because for once we actually had fresh herbs sitting around waiting to be used. These little guys are doing very nicely on the balcony now that Elliot has replaced the four-years-old, cat-poo-infested dirt with some shiny new tomato and herb potting mix.
A quick bit of chopping, grating, and tin opening later, this is what awaits you. How good does it look in the pan? And the smell... the satisfaction of this meal starts before it even hits your plate. Yep, I really love this meal.
I normally make it with 375 g pasta, which is a bit of an awkward amount, but we make this often enough that it's no big deal having a quarter of a packet of pasta left at the end. Use a half-packet or a full packet if you want. Only you know your ideal pasta-sauce ratio!
If you've got extra passata, cherry tomatoes, pizza sauce, tomato paste, or any other tomatoey business lying around needing to be used, chuck it in. If you're looking to keep this meal nice and cheap, leave out the pesto and the wine. If you've got some spare vegies in the fridge you need to use up, chuck them in and see what happens. If you want a vegan option, ditch the Parmesan.
Basically, do what you want with this meal. It's basically unspoilable.
What did you think of this recipe? I'd love to hear from you!
Sharnika 23 Apr 2018Nurse Sharnika here! Firstly, let me just say this recipe is without a doubt my most favourite meal to cook.
I look forward to the days when my lovely vet Steph is on. I know the clinic will smell delicious and I’ll have a new recipe to try over the weekend.
I can confidently say, no one in my household or in my extended family for that matter will be cooking the ‘traditional spag bol’, because this recipe is too delicious... or as I would say “this recipe is on point”.
Do yourself a favour and give it a try, I promise that you won’t regret it.
Keep up the great work S.