Skinny Spag Bol

A family classic, but here I’ve lowered the GI count and raised the fibre by bumping up the veg. My father always adds mixed spice to his bolognaise sauce, and I’d recommend its addition for an authentic Italian touch.

180 calories per person
Serves four


  • Cooking oil spray
  • 400g lean minced beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 courgette (zucchini), diced
  • 200ml beef stock, or boiling
  • Water with an Oxo cube
  • 1 tsp Marmite
  • Salt and pepper

Spray a large pan with a little oil, then fry off the meat until browned and set aside in a separate bowl. This is an important stage as the sugars from the meat will lend your bolognaise colour and flavour. Add onion, celery and pepper to the pan and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add mushrooms, herbs, mixed spice, tomatoes and tomato purée and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add browned mince and courgette, together with the stock and Marmite. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes – longer if possible to enrich the sauce. Check seasoning and serve.

Instead of pasta, serve with:

  • steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets (+30-35 cals per 100g)
  • veg ‘noodles’ – stir-fried ribbons of courgette, carrot and leek (+35 cals per 100g)

Fast Cook by Mimi Spencer

Allen and Unwin

RRP $24.99 – Buy on Booktopia for $19.99