If you live in Australia, you know Coles. And you may have seen a commercial on TV where chef Curtis Stone takes a woman and her daughter shopping for ingredients for his fettuccine bolognese recipe. The cost of the ingredients for the recipe is supposed to be under $10.
I’m a Woolies girl myself, and I’m not a fan of Curtis Stone, but this recipe looked easy, cheap and tasty, so I visited Coles, grabbed the Curtis Stone recipe booklet at the front door and bought the ingredients. Well, it wasn’t under $10 because I bought a bigger package of ground beef (the leftovers I would freeze for later use). I wasn’t very interested in the cost, however, as I was more interested in how easy it would be, and whether my kids would like it or not!
I started cooking when I got home from the shops and I found the preparation was quite easy and relatively quick, just what I was after. The sauce cooks up nice, thick and fragrant. I love the chunky mushrooms and carrots.
The taste was so-so. Oh, it was good, definitely, but it just seemed to be lacking a little bit of flavor, like it could have used more seasoning (which would have been my fault for not using more) or more basil. I don’t know, I’m not a cook – I’m a baker!
My kids didn’t like it very well. They ate about half of their serve and left it. My 2-year-old son hated the carrots and mushrooms, and my 4-year-old daughter would only eat the mushrooms if I told her they were actually little bits of fish (what??). Well, she has an aversion to mushrooms, as one morning during a playgroup outing to the playground she picked a wild mushroom out of the ground and ate a piece of it. I was horrified and worried she would get really sick (or worse), but she was just fine. We must have worried her too much by telling her to never eat mushrooms that she sees on the ground, because now she won’t any mushrooms at all!
Anyway, I would definitely recommend this meal, and I probably will make it again, chunks of fish and all! If you read the comments on the recipe page from Coles you’ll find some tips on how to make this pasta dish a little bit better, including adding an extra can of tomatoes or even a couple tablespoons of tomato paste.
Adapted from Curtis Stone
Serves 4 generously
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
250g Portobello mushrooms, sliced
500g beef mince
400g whole peeled Italian tomatoes
350g fettuccine pasta
1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, finely grated, to serve
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add the beef mince, season with salt and pepper and stir to break up the lumps. Cook for 5-7 mins over high heat until browned. Add the onion and cook for 2 mins then add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms, cook for 2 mins until just softened. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 mins.
Cook the fettuccine according to packet directions.
Toss fettuccine with sauce in fettuccine cooking pan. Mix in basil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.