Healthy, tasty and fills the family too

THIS version of spaghetti bolognaise comes with the whole-hearted thumbs-up from the family of Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa dietitian Erika Ketterer.

Ketterer says: “I was quite surprised by how much they enjoyed it. The herbs really bring out the flavour, and I don’t think they even realised that this is a healthier recipe. My kids and husband demanded that I make it this way every time from now on!”

This basic mince sauce recipe by Shirley Parker can be used in many ways and is perfect for a mid-week meal, serving six.


1 tablespoon (15 ml) sunflower oil

500g lean beef mince

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk (leaves chopped)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 green pepper, seeds removed and chopped

2 carrots, grated

2 teaspoons (10 ml) each dried thyme and mixed herbs

1 x 410g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste

2 tablespoon (30 ml) chutney

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

lemon juice and black pepper to taste

400g spaghetti


1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a frying pan and fry mince until browned. Spoon out and drain excess fat.

2. Heat another 1 teaspoon of the oil in the same pan and fry onion, celery, garlic and green pepper for a few minutes.

3. Add carrots, herbs, tomatoes, tomato paste, chutney and ½ teaspoon salt with meat. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

4. Season well with lemon juice and pepper.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add pasta and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until tender and drain well. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon oil.

6. Serve warm pasta with spaghetti sauce.


1. To bulk up the mince, add cubes of butternut or brinjal with the carrots or stir in a tin of baked beans in tomato sauce.

2. Fresh or dried herbs like basil, rosemary and origanum are delicious with mince.

3. Lasagne: Make a white sauce with fat-free milk and layer with the mince and lasagne sheets or noodles. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

4. Curry mince: Add ½ tablespoon curry powder and ½ teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander to the onions.

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