6 portions. Approximate cost: £13.50 for all ingredients, 

Skill level: Easy, 

Total cooking time: 1 hour 15 mins, 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: 1 hour, 

Equipment used: Food processor (optional), 1 casserole pan, 

Original recipe: Jamie Oliver’s classic spaghetti bolognese


I try to buy organic meat whenever possible, but was not able to on this occasion  and had to settle for whatever the local Tesco’s had to offer –  Nothing wrong with this as such, but I’ve found in the past the mince to be a little flavourless.

To spruce up what could otherwise potentially be a dull dish, I raided the fridge for something to add and lo and behold – chorizo spag bol was born.

If you don’t have any sausage to hand, Jamie’s recipe states to use sun-dried tomatoes to add extra richness. In times of need, umami paste is also a great alternative – allow the paste to cook out for a minute or so before mixing in with the meat mixture as otherwise this can be a bit bitter. If you don’t have this, Marmite is a great substitute. Failing that, throw in some soy sauce or even some chopped jarred anchovies – these will melt entirely in the heat but leave that deep salty flavour you want.


To prep:

1: Dice 1 carrot, 2 onions and 2 celery stalks into small cubes to create a soffrito – alternatively use the slice and chopper attachments on a food processor to achieve the same effect (although far less pretty) in a few seconds.

If you have lots of veg to use up, then chop and freeze in usable portions.  I also opted to throw in half of a red pepper that I had lurking in the back of the fridge. 

2: Thinly slice 3 garlic cloves and the leaves from a stalk of rosemary.

3: Remove the papery skin from 100g raw chorizo. Mince the sausage in the food processor (or roughly chop)

4: Roughly chop 500g beef mince


To cook:

(Original recipe in bold font)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Heat a splash of oil in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add the soffrito, rosemary and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Add chorizo and then the minced beef, breaking it apart with the back of a spoon, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until starting to brown, then pour in the wine. Leave to bubble and cook away.

Add 2 tins of plum tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Don’t worry about breaking up the tomatoes, they will break down in their own time. Leaving them to cook whole again is also meant to keep them sweeter.

(You could use a can of chopped tomatoes, but I prefer plum – I heard of a TV show once that chopped tomatoes were “substandard” as contained all the leftover bits of tomato, whether this is true or not, I’ve never looked to verify.)

Cover with a lid then place in the oven for 1 hour, removing the lid and giving it a stir after 30 minutes – if it looks a little dry at this stage, add a splash of water to help it along.

About 10 minutes before the time is up, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water, then return to the pan with a few spoons of Bolognese, a good grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Toss to coat the spaghetti, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed.

Serve and enjoy!

Any leftover bolognese will freeze well and last  up to 6 months. Simply leave to cool and pop into a tupperware container (I’d recommend writing the date and the contents on the lid to avoid playing freezer roulette a few months down the line)



  • 500g beef mince (£4) 
  • 100g chorizo sausages, raw (£2.50 for 250g) – Tesco’s own are surprisingly full of flavour 
  • 1 carrot (10p)
  • 2 medium white onions (30p)
  • 2 sticks of celery (£1 for a bunch, so 20p here)
  • 300g spaghetti (£1.25 for a 500g packet)
  • 3 garlic cloves (50p for a bulb)
  • 2 cans plum tomatoes (£1.60)
  • 1 glass of red wine (£2.25 for a little bottle)


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