Ah, Spag Bol – what could be better?

And here it is: the reason why you’ll never to have to buy a jar of pasta sauce again!

I tend to spend a wet Sunday afternoon making a huge pot of this for freezing. It’s a great stand-by for the day when you haven’t the time or the inclination to cook..



A fairly large saucepan

Sharp knife



500g low fat mince (see note)P1160822(1)

2 large onions, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed

one small mild green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

One heaped dessertspoon of dried oregano/Italian herbs/ fresh basil – whatever you have.

A beef stock cube – optional

1/2 a glass of red wine

A tin of chopped tomatoes ( I also throw in a few fresh, deseeded, chopped tomatoes if I have them)

A jar of passata, or another tin of tomatoes.

One dessertspoon of sun dried tomato paste

Salt and pepper

A drizzle of  oil






  • Put the saucepan onto a fairly high heat, heat the oil then add the onions and chilli. Immediately add half a cup of water and cover the pan. Allow the onions to sweat and cook, but not brown.
  • Add the minced beef, and the stock cube if you’re using it. Break up the minced beef and stir it around until it starts to  brown. Keep it moving all the time.


  • Add the wine and allow it to reduce down
  • Add the garlic and herbs and stir in. Reduce the heat to medium
  •  Add the tin of tomatoes, the passata and the sun-dried tomato paste


  • Mix well, and adjust the seasoning.

Add the sun-dried tomato paste and some seasoning..

  • Bring to simmering point, then turn down the heat and allow it to sit there for as long as possible before using.






  • Really low fat mince is not as good as slightly fatty mince, as the fat helps to thicken the sauce, and adds flavour. However, if you’re watching the calories, it works perfectly well.
  • If you have time, leave the pot to simmer on as low a heat as you can manage, then switch it off, and allow to sit overnight.
  • This sauce is ideal for Spaghetti Bolognaise, as the meat sauce in lasagne, or as fillings for cannelloni etc. When I’m making lasagne I just reduce the sauce a little, so that it’s not too runny.
  • The chilli is not there to add heat, but to give a depth to the sauce – try it and see how you like it!










I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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