Beef mince & tomato ragu

Make the mince base beforehand and freeze it so you can cook a speedy spaghetti dish during a busy week. It's ideal for feeding the family

PREP 15 mins
COOK 3 hrs


  • calories 681
  • carbs 79
  • saturated fat 9
  • sugar 8
  • protein 40
  • fat 21
  • fibre 7
  • salt 0.5


400g spaghetti or other pasta
100g cherry tomatoes, quartered (use a mix of colours)
1 tbsp mascarpone
1 bunch basil, roughly chopped
parmesan, to serve
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ celery stick, finely sliced
1 small carrot, finely chopped
500g beef mince, 10% fat
3 tbsp tomato & vegetable purée
200ml passata
50ml milk


  1. Heat half of the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry until it starts to soften, then add the garlic, celery and carrot and cook until soft. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a separate frying pan and fry the mince in batches, scooping each batch out with a slotted spoon and leave any excess oil behind.
  2. Add the mince to the veg, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 min. Stir in the passata and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over a very low heat for 1½-2 hrs, then add the milk and cook for 30 mins. If you're making the base ahead of time, you can leave it to cool at this stage then freeze for up to a month. (Defrost fully before using in the next step.)
  3. Cook the spaghetti following pack instructions.
  4. Tip the mince base into a pan and bring it to a simmer. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 1 min, then stir through the mascarpone and basil. Serve over the spaghetti and top with parmesan, if you like.