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Spaghetti Bolognese

IMG_3191Our teen cooking class made this a few weeks ago and not only was it super easy it was also delicious. Plus, if you make a big enough pot, there are lots of leftovers, and this is the kind of pasta that tastes even better the next day!


• 2 medium onions

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 2 carrots

• 2 sticks of celery

• olive oil

• 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

• 500g good-quality minced beef, pork, or (even better!) a mixture of the two

• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• a small bunch of fresh basil

• 100g Parmesan cheese

• 400-500g dried spaghetti


Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Place a large pan on a medium to high heat and add 2 lugs of olive oil, the oregano and the vegetables.

Stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the minced meat breaking it up with your spoon and brown, now add the tinned tomatoes.

Fill one of the empty tins with water and add to the pan, stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on and slightly askew for 1 hour, stirring every now and again. Take the lid off and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the sauce as it cooks, and if you think it’s starting to dry out, add a splash of water.

Remove the Bolognese sauce from the heat and finely grate the Parmesan and stir half into the sauce. Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones for sprinkling over before serving. Season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. You can allow it to cool, bag it up and freeze it, or keep it warm while you cook your pasta

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Nikki is the owner/director of Seasons Family Centre. She completed a diploma in photography at Fanshawe College, followed by a degree in psychology at the University of Western Ontario. Shortly after she finished a post-graduate diploma at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist. Over the next few years she extended her education through various courses in psychology, counselling and play therapy at George Brown College, Hincks Delcrest and Cross Country Education. For the past several years Nikki has been running art programs all across the city of Toronto at various schools, community centres, libraries and private homes. She also runs play therapy groups at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Offices as well as private art therapy sessions. Nikki has taken several courses in baking and cake decorating through the Wilton certification program.

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