Grating courgette into this easy bolognese sauce gets loads of veggies into dinner. Plus, with all the rich flavours in this dish, the silky baby spinach and secret veggies melt into a perfect meal that the whole family will love.
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/ Serving 4 people
/ Serving 4 people
pine nuts(ContainsTree NutsMay be presentGluten, Peanuts, Sesame, Milk, Soy)
penne(ContainsGlutenMay be presentSoy, Egg)
crushed & sieved tomatoes
vegetable stock powder
baby spinach leaves
balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Finely chop the red onion. Grate the courgette. Grate the Parmesan cheese. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Pick the oregano leaves. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, tossing, until golden, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Return the frying pan to a medium-high heat with a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the red onion and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the pork mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 3-4 minutes. Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan, along with the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the grated courgette and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes.
While the pork mince is cooking, add the penne to the saucepan of boiling water and cook until 'al dente', 9 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water then drain, return to the saucepan and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. TIP: 'Al dente' means the pasta is cooked through but is still a little firm.
Add the crushed & sieved tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to the pork mince. Crumble in the vegetable stock cubes and mix well. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. TIP: Simmer for an extra 10 minutes if you have time! Season with a pinch of pepper and add the baby spinach leaves. Cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. Add the butter and stir until melted.
Once the bolognese has finished cooking, add the cooked penne to the pan and toss until well coated. Add a splash of reserved pasta water if the sauce looks too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish! Taste and add more salt or pepper if you like. TIP: Toss the pasta and sauce in the large saucepan if your frying pan isn’t big enough.
Divide the cheat's Italian pork & veggie bolognese between bowls and sprinkle over the grated Parmesan cheese and the toasted pine nuts.
TIP: For kids, follow our serving suggestions in the main image!