Tonight’s dinner came courtesy of some chicken liver at the back of the freezer, and some veg left over from a photoshoot yesterday. Idly flicking through my cookbook collection to find a new chicken liver idea, I came across a bolognese in Save With Jamie. Mine’s not identical – I’ve left out the bacon and mushrooms and chicken stock for a start, and replaced the balsamic vinegar with white wine vinegar, and added frozen spinach for some greens and to lift the flavour… And far more tomatoes than his recipe, because I like a good tomatoey ragu sauce. The result? I ate a good portion of this from the pan, and proclaimed it the best bolognese I’d ever eaten. Between me and Jamie, this is a job jobbed. Cheers.
Chicken liver and lentil bolognese, serves 4 at 49p each. All prices based on Sainsburys Basics, or Sainsburys own ranges, and correct at time of going to blog.
1 carrot, 10p
1 onion, 10p
2 fat cloves of garlic, 5p
1tbsp oil, 3p
200g chicken livers, 50p
1 tsp fennel seeds, 10p
1 red chilli, 10p
400g chopped tomatoes, 35p
1 tbsp vinegar – red wine or white wine, 7p
100g red lentils, 22p
100g frozen spinach, 15p
300g spaghetti, 18p.
First slice the onion, carrot, chilli and garlic and add to a large sauté or frying pan with a tablespoon of oil, the vinegar, herbs and fennel. Rinse the livers and toss them in too. Fry everything together on a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes until the veg starts to soften and the livers are sealed.
Carefully pop the veg and livers into a blender with the chopped tomatoes, and blend until fairly smooth.
Pour the contents of the blender back in the pan on a medium heat, and add 200ml water, and stir well.
Thoroughly rinse the lentils and add to the pan, add the spinach, and stir in. Add a further 200ml of water if the sauce starts to dry out. Stir occasionally to help the spinach defrost and wilt.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti to cook, simmering for around 8 minutes or according to the packet instructions.
It should all come together around the same time; the lentils should be soft and swollen, the spinach wilted throughout the sauce, and the pasta nice and soft but not bloated and claggy. Drain the pasta, toss the sauce through, and top with a generous handful of cheese to serve.
I served two portions of this, and froze four more – your portion sizes might vary but it is very rich and filling!
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @msjackmonroe