Inspiration: We are only a couple of days back from a short break away, and there is not a lot of fresh veg in the fridge, but there were 2 tomatoes and an eggplant sitting there which were about to turn.
I made this this afternoon while working from home and it passed all my just-invented busy-working-mum tests: it used enough fresh ingredients to make me feel virtuous, used all ready-at-hand ingredients to make me feel economical and clever, was easy to make, incorporated a good serve of veg, and was liked by 3 out of 4 family members - that's good enough for me!
- olive oil
- 400g lean mince
- one eggplant, diced
- 2 very ripe tomatoes
- bottle of commercial bolognaise sauce or other variety (mine was Dolmio Red Wine pasta sauce) (and cut me some slack on the sauce, I'm busy)
- one celery stick, chopped (I buy celery and cut up each stick and put them in ziplock bags and keep them frozen for soups and sauces - so in my case this is one bag of frozen celery pieces)
- one packet of frozen spinach
- one sachet, or about 2 tablespoons, tomato paste
- squirt of tomato ketchup (if needed)
- Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat
- Add the mince and brown it
- Add the eggpant, celery, spinach and pasta sauce; mix so the frozen vegs are in the middle of the pot covered with sauce. Turn down heat to low, cover and simmer for 40mins plus, checking and mixing occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't reduce too far.
- When the sauce and veg are well cooked, mix in the tomato paste and leave on low heat uncovered while spaghetti is cooking.
- Cook and drain spaghetti, mix in with meat sauce in the pot, and taste.
- If a little extra flavour is needed, or if kids need enticement to try it, then at the table add a squirt of tomato ketchup.