In Food & Drink

Low Fat Penne Bolognese | Recipe

So, Summer isn’t generally associated with food such as Bolognese in the UK, but I can’t help when I think of warm weather and perfect food combinations, of my parents talking about their holiday to Italy where pasta was eaten all the time, and vegetables were in abundance – certainly sounds good to me!

I thought, therefore, that I would share my Summer version of my Penne Bolognese with you, which used vegetables such as leeks rather than celery and mustard seeds as a spice to give it a kick. By using fresh vegetables, extra lean mince, and making my own sauce rather than using a packet or jar sauce, this Spaghetti Bolognese isn’t just yummy, is a much healthier version also.

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)
200g dried penne pasta (use whole wheat penne for an even healthier option)
1 medium white onion
200g extra lean mince meat
4 large mushrooms
1 leek
3 medium carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 carton of passata (mine included peppers)
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp black peppercorns
1tsp oregano
1tsp mixed herbs
1tsp coriander leaf
2tsp rapeseed oil
1/2tsp salt

1 | Chop up all the vegetables into chunky pieces, and finely dice the garlic cloves. Put 1tsp rapeseed oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Once hot enough, add the garlic and the onions and fry until the onions are soft.
2 | In another saucepan, add warm water and leave until it starts to boil on a medium-high heat. Once bubbles start to appear, add 1tsp of rapeseed oil and 1/2tsp of salt and turn down to a medium heat. This will allow for the spaghetti to cook better in the salt water and the rapeseed oil, as well as being a healthier alternative to other oils, will allow for the spaghetti to cook without sticking together.


3 | Add the mince and stir well until the meat starts to brown. Add the carrots and leeks to the onions and garlic and let cook until the leeks are softened (the carrots will continue to soften throughout cooking). Make sure to stir often.
4 | Add the penne to the boiling water and allow to cook for approximately 15 minutes on a medium heat.


5 | Crush together, in a pestle and mortar, the mustard seeds, oregano, black peppercorns, mixed herbs and coriander leaf, until a fine powder. Add to the Bolognese mixture and stir in thoroughly.

6 | Make sure to stir the penne after half the cooking time.

7 | Once the mince is almost cooked, add the mushrooms and the passata and stir well. Turn the heat up to a medium-high heat and leave to simmer for ten minutes.

8 | Boil some water in a kettle before draining the spaghetti. Whilst the penne is in the drainer, wash off the salt excess salt from the pasta with the boiling water. This will get rid of all the excess salt and stop the pasta from sticking together as it cools.

9 | The Bolognese will now be cooked. Give it a good stir before serving. Finish off with a sprinkle of Italian Herbs or oregano for an added extra.

I hope you get to try and enjoy my take on a Penne Bolognese. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and let me know what your favourite food is to eat over the summer!

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Author and owner of Geek & Gloss

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