Saturday, November 29, 2008

Making the points stretch

I love pasta bolognaise/in meat ragu and one of the awful things about WW-ing is that it just doesn't really fit in with the diet ... I can hear you all saying "of course it does!" But I like juicy, oozy meat and lashings of olive oil and glugs of red wine and parmesan shavings and sides of garlic bread and Ben & Jerry's for dessert and a couple more glasses of merlot to wash it down ... but I digress and I've made myself dribble and spit all over the monitor.

So anyway, when I decided in June that I needed to loose the weight I realised that I needed to change the way a) I made my sauce and b) the way I ate and enjoyed it.
Firstly this would not all be possible without the wonder that is spray light. I've stopped using tomato puree - because of the amount of oil in it and I've discovered that good balsamic vinegar works wonders ~ giving the taste of a good glug of wine. Sooooo, here I present my new recipe ... works for 4 but the guts that I live with usually polishes off the leftovers ;o)
Spicy Ragu
4 "squits" of spray light
1 large onion, sliced
1 large carrot, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed - it's up to you.
500 grms of lean minced beef
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp of chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of Marigold vegetable stock powder
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar*
Salt and pepper to taste
a large handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Ok, cook off the onion and carrot with 2 sprays of fry light ... they're not browning, just cooking slowly. When they've began to soften add the garlic and continue to let the vegetables sweat.
2. In another frying pan, brown off the mince with the other 2 sprays of fry light and when this has browned ... and this is a trick for me - pour the beef into a fine sieve and drain well ... getting rid of even more fat.
3. Add the tomatoes, chilli, stock, bay leaf and balsamic vinegar to the onions and garlic. Bring to the simmer and then add the minced beef and enough water to cover the meat.
4. Turn down the heat and then let the mixture cook gently for as long as you can wait before falling face down into the pan. The longer it cooks, the softer the meat gets - because of course you've drained all the fat out of it!
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper**, chuck in the handful of freshly chopped parsley, mix and serve with the pasta of your choice - gigli in this house, because I like the frill and the name makes me chortle.
*I actually use the vinegar out of a jar of Tesco's Borettane onions ... the ones Saint Delia recommends in her cheats Boeuf Bourguinon. The vinegar is always around because I've wolfed the onions while Simon wasn't looking.
** I normally add another splash of vinegar and crunch/slurp on a few onions at this point - a girl has got to have a treat you know!


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Ooh, yum, I must try this WW or not!!!

Fizzy said...

I fell of the WW wagon awhile back. Will try again. I am proud of what you have achieved though.(and a bit envious too)
will save this recipie.

Tammi said...

Your post is making ,me soooo hungry! in the worl did you get off my fave list?
Gotta add you back in there!

Magpie said...

Lashings and glugs = I like the way you write about food. Mmm.