Courgetti with lean beef Bolognese ragu

I was recently inspired by Taste Today and their use of Spiralizers (read about their reviews of different products here, plus 10% discount code to purchase), so I thought I would dust off my own Spiralizer and get to work on a new healthy mid-week dinner recipe.

Obviously you can eat this meal at any time. But I find with meals like ‘spag-bol,’ its great to make a large batch then portion-up and freeze, ready for those evenings when you get in from work and have no energy other than to press ding on the microwave. As I tend to indulge a little more at the weekends (who doesn’t), I have made this recipe as healthy as possible, without compromising on flavour. It’s low on the carbs, low on fat and contains no Gluten* but still really tastes delicious and so, so satisfying!

This recipe makes 6 hearty portions of Bolognese ragu – but you can split it up into smaller portions if you wish (it makes up to 10 if you count 1 portion as 1 ladle full). It takes 60 minutes to make in total. Use 1 large courgette per person for the courgetti.

What you need:

  • 2 medium onions, very finely sliced or whizzed in a food processor
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 400g extra lean beef mince (I use this one from Muscle Foods)
  • 125g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes (I use Cirio)
  • 500ml good quality beef stock*
  • 1 tbsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried Basil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 large courgettes, or 3 medium ones
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • a sprinkle of finely grated Pecorino cheese, to serve

*for a gluten free recipe, GF stock can be used.

What to do:

1. Heat 2 tbsp of the Rapeseed oil in a large heavy-based sauce pan with a lid. Add the onions and sweat them over a low-medium heat for 3-5 minutes until just translucent. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for a further 2-3 mins – but don’t let onions or garlic brown. Add a tad more Rapeseed oil if needed.

2. Break the lean minced beef into chunks and add to the pan, stirring well until the beef begins to brown (about 6-7 minutes).Once the meat has just cooked through (no longer pink). Next add the red lentils and the mushrooms and continue to stir everything together whilst the mushrooms begin to wilt (about 3 minutes).

Lean beef mixture cooking, with the lentils and mushrooms just added
Lean beef mixture cooking, with the lentils and mushrooms just added

3. Add the beef stock and the two tins of chopped tomatoes, stir everything together, then mix in the dried basil and oregano. Season well with freshly ground black pepper.

4. Bring to the boil, and simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes.

5. Whilst the ragu is cooking, ‘Spiralise’ your courgettes. I prefer the thin noodle setting, but I have taken a picture of both settings so you can decide which you prefer (see below).

5. After 40 minutes, remove the lid and check the consistency of the ragu – if it’s a bit thick, add a little boiling water and continue to cook without the lid for a further 10-15 minutes over a low simmer.

The Bolognese ragu after 40 minutes, add a splash of hot water if the sauce is too thick
The Bolognese ragu after 40 minutes, add a splash of hot water if the sauce is too thick

6. Whilst the ragu is finishing off, heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat. When the pan is warm, add the ‘courgetti’ and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly so they don’t catch. Add the fresh parsley at the last 30 seconds and stir through.

7. Divide the courgetti between warm bowls, then top with a ladle of the ragu Bolognese. Top with more freshly ground black pepper and some Pecorino cheese to taste.

<3 Voila - Courgetti with lean beef Bolognese ragu! <3
<3 Voila – Courgetti with lean beef Bolognese ragu! <3

If you try this recipe at home, please send me a tweet (@sophiesscran), Instagram tag (@sophiesscran), Facebook mention or use the comments box below! <3