Classic Ragu Bolognese

img_6214Simple and hearty this Ragu Bolognese its always a family winner, with step by step instruction and video.  This recipe is great for leftovers and makes an amazing base which can be adapted to be the filling for lasagne too!

You can just use passata in the recipe but I would recommend using my Ragu many ways it can be frozen and used in so many recipes.  In fact this delicious ragu is one of my biggest sellers in  my Emilys home cooked kitchen frozen food range!  I’ve been so busy making food for my little business I have hardly had time to keep up! Hence the blog is neglected, I have been taking plenty of foodie pictures so I just need time to upload them.

Video at the bottom of the page  ⇓

I have made a healthier version not using olive oil, but if your not on a low fat diet, glug it in as it will make it even better.

Lets get cooking      Serves 6 – 8

 

  • 1 kg of ground minced beef  (good quality)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 onions  (finely diced)
  • 3 carrots (grated)
  • 200 grams of mushrooms (finely sliced)
  • 2 heaped tbsp. of mixed herbs
  • 1 packet of piccolo or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 packet of fresh basil
  • 500 grams of passta
  • 300 ml of hot beef stock
  • fresh parmesan to serve grated
  • 800 grams of dried pasta
  • Salt and pepper

On the hob

Using a large pan or frying pan, heat it up and add the minced beef stirring well so that it doesn’t lump together.

 

Whilst it is gently browning, chop the onions, garlic, mushrooms and grate the carrot.  Taking care to stir the minced beef regularly, breaking up the chunks as you go along.

 

 

Add them to the pan once the minced beef is properly cooked through and brown.

Give it a really good stir getting to the bottom of the pan.

 

Next add the beef stock and the Ragu many ways or passata and mixed herbs.

 

The key to a fantastic rich sauce in my opinion is letting it simmer down for as long as possible.  At least 35 minutes, I let it simmer with a lid on for 2 hours, checking on it regularly that is hasn’t stuck.

 

When you are 15 mins towards the end of cooking the beef sauce.  Heat a large pan of water ready for the passata,  I have chosen air dried pasta as it has extra groves on the edges of it so catches the sauce so well around, coating all the pasta evenly.  Whilst it is heating up chop the tomatoes and pull the leaves off the basil plant.

 

Add the pasta to the water, and throw in the tomatoes and basil into the beef mixture stir well.  My pasta took 13 minutes to cook.

Drain the pasta into the sink. Save some of the salty water just a ladle full to add to the Bolognese mix.  Ladle the sauce into the pasta and mix well.

 

Serve with parmesan and extra basil leaves.  Delicious !

 

Enjoy Emily x

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Chicken Shawarma 

Today I’ve pulled out this great recipe again, one of my simple fail proof recipes..  I’ve made these delicious healthy tasty morsels for our regular monthly taster, in my diet group! They are Very easy and exotic, this middle eastern Chicken Shawarma tastes amazing.  Whilst cooking the heady aroma fills the house, this not only smells but tastes divine.  The succulent meat just falls of the skewers.

Serve with flat breads or couscous and yogurt.  I decide to try adding peppermint tea to the yogurt to give an extra balancing flavour to the zesty chicken!

INGREDIENTS                                      SERVES 4

  • 12 boneless chicken thighs skinned
  • x 2 juice of lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. of smoked paprika
  • x 2 tbsp. of olive oil  (optional) or low calorie spray oil
  • x 1 tsp of mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne
  • Large sprinkling of Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Method

Use a large plastic food bag.  Place the chicken into the bag.  Add the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, olive oil, mixed spice, cayenne and salt and pepper into the bag. Give it a really good jiggle coating all the of the chicken.  Leave to marinate.

(This dish is best if left to marinate for a while. You can cook it straight away but the flavours won’t infuse into the meat and tenderise it quiet so well.  Preferably at least 2 hours to marinate, but if you prepare it over night and leave it in the fridge it will be amazing.)

Heat the oven to 200 degrees  (392 DF US)

Use a large baking tray.  Drizzle or spray with oil.  Using skewers place one and a half of the chicken thighs onto each skewer, this allows for 2 skewers per person.

Cook for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through.  That’s it, its as simple as that!

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Delicious!

Enjoy!

Emily x

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Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine 🍋 


There’s really something fantastic about this dish and its depth of Moroccan spices without too much heat.  The heady scent of cinnamon and cumin with the lemon is filling our home.   Taking me back to our holidays in mesmerizing  Marrakesh,  Jack frost  and the icy fog is banished from my thoughts.  Tantalising our senses, I dream about Morocco and all the amazing experiences and food flavours, which are so easy to cook.

Tagine is a traditional clay pot used in Morocco for placing in an oven or fire pit.  If you don’t have one just use a solid casserole pot with a lid.  You usually start off the dish by frying/browning the onions and meat.  Once all the ingredients are added it can be placed into the oven to slowly cook, let all the flavours do their magic! Continue reading

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup 

 

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Creamy and warming delicious Leek and Potato Soup, its easy and quick to make with step by step video, pictures and recipe instructions.

Sometimes simple is best! With just a few ingredients it makes an amazing rich soup bursting with flavour, creamy and smooth texture.  Ticking the spot for just what was needed after a busy day of batch cooking for my new business.

VIDEO IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RECIPE ⇓

INGREDIENTS                                 SERVES 6

  • 4 Leeks, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • Garlic finely sliced
  • onion medium finely sliced
  • 900ml hot stock  (chicken or vegetable)
  • 200 ml Whole fat milk
  • Olive oil or spray low calorie oil
  • Salt and Pepper

On the Hob!

Using a large pan place on a medium heat, spray or drizzle with oil.  Throw in the leeks to gently soften. I think the best way to make the soup full of flavour is to be patient allowing them to soften slowly.  Whilst they are softening, chop the onion and garlic and then throw in the pan stirring well.

Meanwhile stirring regularly, chop up the potatoes.  After about 15 minutes the leeks and onions should be reduced and sweated down.  Next add the stock to the mixture, add the milk and potatoes.  Bring up to boil and a gentle simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

The soup needs to bubble for about 20 – 25 minutes until the potatoes are soft.  Next blitz the soup in a blender. If you like your soup chunky don’t bother with this next bit!

Serve up and Enjoy!  Yum

Emily x

 

Spring is here! 


I’m so lucky to be washing up with this view of the Derbyshire Dales.  The sun is streaming into my kitchen after a day of batch cooking my Mushroom Soup.  With a happy heart and suds up to my elbows, I have finally decided to take a tentative step to start my own business.

Quality, tasty home cooked frozen food is my idea.  For ten years or more I’ve be talking and contemplating how to do it, but I’ve not been brave enough! Continue reading

Tasty Tandoori Chicken 

 

Tantalising, Tasty, Tandoori Chicken, is amazing and so easy to do, being on a healthy eating plan or not this is such a satisfying alternative roast dish.

An awesome dish from India, it takes is name from the Tandoori Oven used to roast the meat in.  Unfortunately, I haven’t got a tandoori oven, but have followed the same instructions to make the dish.  Mixing heavenly spices with yogurt and rubbing it well into the meat, gives the chicken a great depth of infused flavours.

Continue reading