Because I’m such a lazy cook I usually make a huge batch and freeze the sauce in individual portions for days I don’t feel like cooking but want a hearty meal. And this is one of the best make-ahead-freeze meals because you don’t have to spend so much time cooking over the stove, just sauté the ingredients and leave the sauce to simmer for hours. And you’ll have a delicious sauce which is great for any kind of pasta and if you like, over a plate of hot steaming white rice.
1. Cook the pasta in a pot, according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion with garlic until they turn translucent and soft.
3. Now add in the meat and crumble into the onions and fry until it turns white (no more red bits)
4. Add in the carrot and celery, give it a quick stir before adding in the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree (Half way cooking I realized I ran out of tomato puree in my pantry so I substitute using a bottled pasta sauce which is why I didn’t use dried herbs – basil and oregano – because it’s already added into the bottled pasta sauce. But if you are using tomato puree , remember to add in 1 tsp of dried basil and oregano)
5. Pour in the water/chicken stock. Throw in the bay leaves. Mix well and let it to simmer for at least an hour without the lid on. Once the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 put a lid on and continue to let it simmer for a further 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve over pasta with freshly grated cheese and enjoy!
* You can use minced beef, pork or have a mixture of both (pork + chicken)