Nigella Lawson’s Meatzza! (I know, I am a Nigella slave)

As you can probably see from my bookcase pic, I have a serious case of Nigella adulation. But I had, as yet, not really got into Nigellisima properly, preferring to slip back to cooking quick family meals from Kitchen or Nigella Express.

But the Meatzza caught my eye – it’s hard to miss. She says it’s the most requested dish from that book (by her family) and you can see why! It was totally easy to prepare – mix together the few listed ingredients press into a pan, top with tomato mix, mozzarella, basil and bung in the oven. Done!

meatzza uncooked

It wasn’t healthy but boy was it appetising. The husband’s face, as I set it down in front of him, was a picture.

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Spag Bol à la Dingwall

Spaghetti Bolognese must be a family favourite in every home – we have it regularly! It’s one of the best things to make with the ubiquitous mince in our gaff, and it’s a great way to get veg into a child. I add carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, onions (of course) to ours and then blitz the sauce in the blender before serving to our daughter.

It’s something I was taught to make, not by Dad (who was a fan of using just a jar of a popular sauce), but by my university friend KD. After dry frying the mince, draining the fat and adding garlic and onion as normal, she taught me to add some tomato puree, then some mixed herbs and canned tomatoes.

These days, I am a fancy pants who throws in a swig of marsala or red wine, and I’m in heaven if I have fresh basil. Oh, and I never had money for parmesan in my student days. These days, I grate it liberally all over, the crowning glory of what’s one of the simplest, and tastiest, family suppers around.

So, thanks K! I don’t think I have ever told you how much I appreciated your introduction to a semi-proper spag bol. I promise to make it next time you visit.