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Our quick and easy recipe for bolognese sauce that you can make with the kids at home before travelling to Italy.

Ingredients

500g lean mince beef

1 tsp olive oil

1 white onion, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 beef stock cube

2 cups of hot water

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 large jar of passata or tomato pasta sauce

A handful of fresh basil, chopped

½ bag of spinach leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

Grated cheddar cheese or parmesan to serve

Method

Cook the carrot and onion in a little olive oil until soft, remove from the pan and set to one side. Add the mince to the pan and cook until it has browned all over and starting to become slightly crispy. Add the carrot and onion back to the pan and sprinkle the stock cube evenly over, stir well and add 2 cups of boiling water (alternatively you can use fresh stock).

Cook for 2 minutes, then add in the tin of tomatoes and passata or pasta sauce. Stir well for about 10 minutes until the sauce is thick.

Roughly chop the basil and spinach together and sprinkle on top of the mixture. Just before you are ready to serve you can mix the leaves in - this keeps the flavour of the basil fresh and stops the spinach over cooking.

Use this sauce as a base in lasagne and cottage pie or simply serve with spaghetti, pasta or rice.

Cook's tips

Add a little garlic, chilli, Worcester sauce or balsamic glaze when cooking the mince for an extra kick of flavour.