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Best Diet Recipes: My Favourite Ragu With Spelt Pasta Recipe

Best Diet Recipes: My Favourite Ragu With Spelt Pasta Recipe

I swear this is as good as any Italian Mama would make. The real secret is the long, slow cooking, so please don’t rush It. It freezes brilliantly so I make a batch and freeze it in individual portions for a quick dinner at the end of a busy day. You can use wholegrain spelt pasta, rice pasta or wholewheat pasta. You may also listen to the recipe by pressing the play button below:
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Courses, Pasta
Servings 4
Calories 80 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
  • 100 g smoked back bacon (about 3-4 rashers), excess fat trimmed off, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced or grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 400 g beef mince (10% fat)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g wholegrain spelt pasta per portion (uncooked weight), cooked according to packet instructions
  • Large handful fresh parsley, tender stalks and leaves chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick lidded frying pan or flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry for 3 minutes then stir in the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs. Fry for 10 minutes until softened.
  • Add the beef mince and cook, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes until any excess water has boiled off and the mince is starting to brown.
  • Stir in the balsamic vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of water and let it bubble, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato purée, vegetable bouillon and tin of tomatoes. Fill the empty tin with cold water and add this to the pan too.
  • Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of boiling water if it looks dry. Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • To serve you can either add the cooked pasta to the ragu and stir it all together, or spoon the ragu on top of the pasta in serving bowls. Top with the chopped parsley.
Keyword Diet Recipes, Pasta recipes