Cooking on a budget
Hearty, filling meals that don't break the bank are welcome recipes for everyone, but they’re especially useful for students.
This simple beef ragù will easily feed a hungry crowd – and you really don’t need much sauce per serving. To make it go even further, try adding a small handful of lentils, some stock or another tin of tomatoes, and lots of chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery and mushrooms.
A few rashers of chopped streaky bacon fried in with the onions make another tasty addition. And don’t use the leanest mince – about 10% fat gives a good balance of fat and flavour. Any leftovers will also freeze well.
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 500g beef mince (10% fat)
- 1 pinch dried mixed herbs or oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato puree (70g)
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 100ml red wine
- 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 75g spaghetti per person, cooked as per packet instructions
- Parmesan or other Italian hard cheese, grated
- Heat the cooking oil in a deep, lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until translucent.
- Add the mince gradually, not all together, and fry until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the herbs and tomato puree, and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, rinsing the can with a few tablespoons of water and add to the sauce. Pour in the red wine and stir in the sweet chilli sauce.
Cover with the lid and cook over a low heat for about an hour, stirring from time to time. Serve with the freshly cooked spaghetti and a sprinkling of Italian hard cheese.
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