More Meals with Mince

Food shopping, love it or hate it, as a Mother this is a very necessary chore. There is nothing worse than the kids bouncing in after an active day at school and bursting into the pantry only to  find that the cupboard is bare. Sometimes I enjoy the journey around the supermarket but on other occasions it is just a job that has to be done. I prefer to shop alone. Taking the kids food shopping results in a monotonous series of “No’s” especially with my eleven year old son, Sam, who thinks it is his right to have anything he wants added to the shopping trolley. What I do with him now is start with a series of “no’s” and then when he asks for something that I have on my list I say he can have that as long as he doesn’t ask for anything else. Works a treat provided he hasn’t seen the list!

I only let the Welshman come to the Supermarket approximately once every three months as unlike the kids he doesn’t have to ask. It’s surprising what extra’s find their way into the trolley which go unnoticed until I am emptying the trolley contents onto the conveyor belt. Watching a big Welshman with his hands shoved into his pockets studying the ceiling intently and pretending that he doesn’t know what is going on is very amusing, and does make the shopping trip a lot more interesting!

I try to look at the specials in the flyers or papers before shopping as I like to buy in bulk when goods are on special. I tend to buy the products that I would normally buy so getting them cheaper means I don’t need to buy them again for a number of weeks. This is especially true for Canned Tomatoes, Baked Beans, spaghetti, dried pasta, soups, cereals and breads. Of course you need a space to store them and luckily I have a large pantry and a freezer for storing the bread.

Many people will plan their meals for a week and shop for those foods. I am different because I buy the foods then decide on the day what meal I want to cook. This will depend on what food is in my pantry and what meat I have removed from the freezer that day.

Today I have mince so have wandered through the pantry and have made the following recipe for a Friday night dinner at the end of the week. Once completed I had enough mince left over to make another mince meal.

MINCE PASTA BAKE.                                                       (Serves 4)

450 grams beef mince

1 clove garlic crushed

1 small onion diced

1 jar Dolmio Basil Pasta sauce (550grams) or my basic tomato sauce

2 cups of dried pasta, cooked.

1 teaspoon oil

Salt

Pepper

½ cup grated cheese

Turn oven onto 180°C. Heat oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Add the mince and cook until the mince is browned through. Add the pasta sauce and stir through. Bring pan to the boil, turn down and simmer until cooked (about 10 minutes). While the sauce is cooking add the pasta to a pot of boiling salted water and simmer until cooked. Refer to instructions for cooking pasta on the label, often takes about 10 minutes.  Drain the water off the pasta.

Add the pasta to the mince sauce and stir. Pour into an oven dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Mince Pasta Bake

Serve with sliced fresh bread or a nice fresh green salad. If the weather is too cold for a salad cook up some broccoli to serve with the meal.

After eating this dinner, Sam asked me to put this in my food blog so he obviously enjoyed it.

If you have been following recipes on my blog you will see that my family isn’t really a meat and three vegetables kind of family. I’m not sure why as I was definitely brought up with that diet and so was the Welshman. Perhaps it is because there are so many different foods available and with migration and international travel the variety of food we are exposed to is so much greater. Even in the last ten years I have noticed that we don’t really have seasonal foods as most foods are available all year round. However although this is convenient and provides easier access, the flavour in some of these foods can be somewhat lacking.

My next recipe is a fusion of many different flavours but predominately an Italian flavour.

SPICY MEATBALLS WITH SPAGHETTI PASTA.

1250 grams beef mince

1 large onion very finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

¼ cup sweet chilli sauce with lime

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Divide and roll the mixture into 16 even sized shaped balls. Place on a tray lined with tinfoil and refrigerate until ready to use of for at least one hour.

TOMATO SAUCE

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 teaspoon olive oil

2x 400gram canned tomatoes chopped in juice

Spicy Meatballs with Spaghetti Pasta

1 cup beef stock

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat oil in a pot, add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, beef stock and tomato paste.

Bring to the boil add salt, pepper and parsley, turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.

TO COOK MEATBALLS.

Put 3 tablespoons oil into a pan and when heated add the meatballs. Brown the meatballs by turning frequently and cook for 15 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and stir. Cover and bring to the boil then turn the pan down and simmer for 15 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally.

Cook some fresh spaghetti pasta, as per instructions on packet, available in the dairy product fridge section of the supermarket.

Drain pasta and serve. Place meatballs over the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. (Serves 6).

Enjoy!

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