Spag bol is a favourite in most families, and can be made healthier by using the same weight of vegetables as meat. If you want to go further than 50/50, 75/25 is even better.
½ cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp extra
1 large onion, cut into ½-cm cubes
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
500g mixed vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant and carrots, cut into ½-cm cubes
500g mixed pork and beef mince (or 500g beef mince)
¾ cup red wine
700g tomato passata
1 tsp salt, plus extra for the pasta water
¼ tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp tomato sauce (optional)
750g dried spaghetti
2 tbsp finely shredded parsley
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan or casserole over low-medium heat, add the ½ cup of oil, onion and garlic and fry for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Add the vegetables and fry for a further 8 minutes, stirring regularly until softened and lightly browned. Add the mince and fry for 3 minutes until it begins to brown, then add the wine, passata, salt, oregano, tomato sauce and 1 cup of water, stirring to scrape up any fond from the base of the pot. Cover, reduce to a low heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add salt. Add the spaghetti and boil for one minute less than the packet directions, or until al dente. Remove the spaghetti from the pot and add it directly to the bolognese sauce with an extra 2 tablespoons of olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Stir well over medium heat for about 1 minute to combine the pasta and sauce. Serve immediately with the shredded parsley, black pepper and parmesan.
Tip: Many home-made spag bols could be improved just by cooking them a little longer. Fry your sofrito (garlic, onions etc) for at least 10 minutes to develop the flavours, then with the sauce, simmer the whole thing for an hour or more to break down the connective tissue in the mince.
Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.