So I was asked this question….what about instant jarred spaghetti sauce or sauce from a tin? Well, I don’t have any particular problem with it and as a mother, I understand that not everyone has the luxury to make a marinara sauce from scratch, and it’s not like I would turn up my nose at people who use instant sauces either. Kids love spaghetti. I don’t think I’ve met one who doesn’t. So…..how to make a good spaghetti dish that’s fast and enticing enough for kids? I took up the challenge and decided to do one simple pasta dish from an instant sauce in dedication to all mothers out there who…at the end of the day….just wish to do right by their kids. We’re not perfect but we sure damn try our hardest.
The instant sauce in question is a tomato base with garlic and basil. Nevertheless, I still prefer to up the ante by adding MORE flavours to the sauce. The relevant protein here is minced chicken. Why chicken? I think lean chicken cooks faster and they are able to absorb the flavours in half the time compared to other meats. Not store-bought minced chicken but a piece of chicken breast and you mince it yourself. What makes this speedy is that all the chopping work are done in the mincer itself. You’ll see soon enough. I have my little mincer that does a good job for light chopping work (pic below). It was a gift when I had my first child.
The trick is to mince all your vegetables first before the meat so you won’t have any cross-contamination issue. By mincing everything to small pieces, you also cut down cooking time but still get that burst of flavours. If you don’t have a mincer, well….go invest in one. Or practise your knife skills till you can chop up ingredients in record time or….have someone else do the prep work. 🙂 By mincing everything to small pieces, you’ll be spared the heartache of your child whining in case he or she is that picky over vegetables, mainly because it can’t be seen when it’s cooked into the sauce.
SPEEDY SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE RECIPE
A can of spaghetti tomato sauce
3 stalks of celery
1 big onion, peeled
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
Fresh Basil leaves, chiffonade
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Start by cooking your spaghetti in salted boiling water. Get your ingredients at hand. Heat a large, deep pan with olive oil. In the mincer, mince your onion and garlic together. Tip them into the frying pan to start sweating.
2. Mince your carrot and celery next. Add that to the onions too. Sweat everything till they’re fragrant. This could take 10 mins.
3. When the vegetables are soft, mince your chicken and add it to the pan. Break it up with your spatula. Cook it through and season with oregano and black pepper. I skipped the salt because I think canned sauces are salty enough.
4. Add the can of sauce and incorporate everything together. Let it simmer gently for 20 mins. Add some fresh basil. Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking. If it’s too dry, add some water.
5. When your spaghetti is cooked, drain and tip it back into the pot. Scoop some bolognese sauce into the spaghetti. Toss to coat all the strands together with the sauce.
6. Plate and scoop more sauce on top. Finish off with some grated cheese.