Budget penne Bolognese recipe

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serves: 4
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 30 min
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  • Make a budget penne Bolognese like our mummy blogger Anneliese, who says: ‘A Bolognese is such a versatile dish and something we eat regularly. I often make double and store half in the freezer for another meal. Sometimes I’ll add a can of kidney beans and a pinch of chilli to serve with rice, or top the Bolognese with mashed potato for a Shepherd’s pie. You could add lentils and beans to include more texture and flavour too. Have fun experimenting!’


    • 2tbsp oil
    • 250g lean minced beef
    • 2 onions, peeled and diced
    • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 1 pepper, de-seeded and diced (optional)
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes
    • 150ml water
    • 300g penne pasta


    • Put the oil and the onion in a pan and fry over a moderate to high heat for about three to four minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning.

    • Add the minced beef to the pan and continue to cook, on high, until the mince is brown all over.

    • Next add the carrots and pepper and cook for a few more minutes.

    • Stir in the chopped tomatoes and water, bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer. Be sure to give it a stir every so often and check to see if it requires a drop more water. Cook for approximately 30 minutes.

    • Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water, according to the packet instructions.

    • Once the pasta is cooked, take it off of the heat, drain it well and return to the pan.

    • Now it’s time to dish up your meal. Share the pasta between warmed plates and top with spoonfuls of bolognese. Sprinkle some grated cheese over the top, if liked.

    Top tip for making Budget penne Bolognese

    It's a good idea to add plenty of vegetables when making a Bolognese as it will help to bulk out the meal. Carrots are very cheap so I use quite a few, but use your family favourites.

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