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£5 Dinners | Spaghetti Bolognese

We have started a new series of posts on Instagram called £5 Dinners where we will be sharing some of our favourite budget friendly meals. Follow us @savingscotts to keep updated with the series.

We have also decided to post all the recipes on here and there is now an easy to use tab on the navigation bar just for £5 dinners. So you can find all your favourite, easy to cook, low cost dinners in one place. 

This weeks receive is the traditional Spaghetti Bolognese. One of the best ways to save money on dishes like this is to buy mince when it is reduced and freeze it ready for when you need it. I can't remember the last time I paid full price for mince meat as its just not worth it. Other areas you can bring the cost down is buy busing value range tomato produces (they are just the same with a different label) and purchasing spaghetti in bulk.  Whilst the basil is optional it does really enhance the flavour and the you can find fresh herbs reduced in stores and all they need is a little TLC to bring them back to their former glory. This dish is easily under £5 (we spent just less than £4).

  • 1 onion- diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic - minced
  • dash of oil 
  • 400g mince meat (we used pork/beef mix but any kind will do)
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1/2 carton (approx 250g) of passata
  • 1-2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 200g mushrooms
  • salt + pepper
  • Basil (optional) - chopped finely 
  • 120g of spaghetti (or your favourite type of pasta)
  • Handful of grated cheese to top

  • Cook onions and garlic in oil until slightly golden.
  • Add mincemeat and cook until 80% browned.
  • Add mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, pasta and tomato puree. Stir for 3-4 minutes until its all throughly mixed together and bring to the boil.
  • Leave to simmer by reducing the heat to low for 20-30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so. 
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste (and half the basil at the stage if you want to include it).
  • After simmering for 20-30 minutes, add the spaghetti to a second saucepan full of salted water and boil until cooked as per packet instructions (cooking time will vary depending on whether it is dried or fresh pasta and the type of pasta). 
  • Strain the pasta and divide into four portions to serve, top with pasta sauce, basil and grated cheese. 

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  1. Looks yummy but something is getting lost in the translation. What is pasta and how big is a carton? Is mince meat beef that has been ground up?

    1. Apologies there was a slight typo it should say passata not pasta (autocorrect to blame there), passata is strained puree (so no skins or seeds) a carton is normally about 500g (and costs about 30p in the UK), it has a lovely rich flavour and is an essential to many Italians cooking. Mince meat is the same as ground meat (i.e mince beef is ground beef). Hope this helps