All the way through the Summer, Autumn and up until a few days ago, I had the fruits of my successful labours alive and kicking and glowing beautifully red in pots outside my kitchen, thanks to Wyevale Garden Centres.
They sent me all kinds of wonderful goodies to attempt to grow myself… some were more successful than others and my overwhelming triumphs were my little tomatoes!
These tomatoes started as tiny little plants on my balcony in Finsbury Park, they came with me in the moving truck to Walthamstow, and have since been growing merrily in my garden in E17.
I finally took the plunge and harvested all my tomatoes to make this cracking spaghetti bolognese by Vikalinka.
I wouldn’t have picked them all for any old dish, it had to be spag bol. And it had to be eaten in a bowl, with hunks of parmesan cheese and the radio on.
Here’s Vikalinka’s yummy recipe:
Pancetta or bacon(optional), diced- 50 gr/ 2-3 strips
Olive oil- 2 tbsp.
Celery stalks, diced-2
Fresh Basil- a bunch or dried basil- 2 tsp.
Diced Tomatoes, canned- 2 X 400gr/14 oz cans (I substituted in my gorgeous fresh, home grown tomatoes!)
Dried Oregano- 2 tsp.
Ground Beef, extra lean- 1 lbs.
Salt and pepper to taste
Spaghetti- 1 lbs.
In a large and deep frying pan or wide dutch oven fry diced bacon.
Do the same pan add diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic and chopped basil stalks (they add so much flavour!). If you are using lean bacon or pancetta add a splash of olive oil and cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes.
Pour in tomatoes and ground beef, fill both empty cans with water and add it to the sauce with a pinch of salt and pepper
Sprinkle in some dried oregano and torn basil leaves (reserve a few small ones), bring it to a boil then turn the heat down and let it simmer with a lid ajar for for 1- 1 1/2 hours stirring it once in a while.
When your Bolognese is nearly done boil a large pot of water and cook spaghetti according to package directions. (I usually cook 2 min less than the package recommends, your pasta continues cooking when you combine it with sauce and you really don’t want it overcooked!)
Drain your spaghetti and add your pasta to the sauce, stir gently and take off the heat. Top with reserved basil leaves.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
If you fancy having a go and growing your own, you’re in luck! I have a GBP50 voucher for one lucky winner to spend on any ‘Grow Your Own’ product in any of the Wyevale Garden Centres.
To enter, just leave me a comment below and for an extra entry, just RT my tweet about the competition!
A huge thank you to Wyevale Garden Centres for the inspiration and reminding me that really anybody and everybody can grow something, even if you only have a tiny outside space.
I have been eating the fruits (literally) of my labour all Summer and I can’t wait to try my hand at something more adventurous now….
Anyone got any ideas?
This post is sponsored by Wyevale Garden Centres and all thoughts and opinions are my own.