Phil Vickery’s spaghetti bolognese

A little sauce goes a long way here, so I’ve halved the meat content but added more vegetables to compensate for the bulk loss. The sauce will coat the spaghetti perfectly, saving you money and calories. You can add a little finely grated parmesan cheese, if you like, at the end. I use a microplane grater, which makes 20 grams look and go a long way!

phil vickery spaghetti bolognese
Tara Fisher

JUST £3.75

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or a couple of squirts from a spray bottle)
2 small onions, very finely chopped
4 small celery sticks, very finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and very finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
400g 12% fat minced beef
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp tomato purée
400g can chopped tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 x 10g any stock cube
300g dried spaghetti

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and oregano. Cook for 10 minutes to soften.

2. Add the mince and break up with a wooden spoon, then cook for about 5 minutes. Add the flour to soak up the juices and stir really well to coat. Add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes then, using the can, refill with water and add to the pan. Stir well.

3. Add a little pepper and the stock cube, stir, bring the pan to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and the sauce thickened nicely.

4. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. When everything is ready, add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and mix well. Serve.

TIP Using a strong cheese such as parmesan means you get lots of flavour for relatively few calories and a low cost. And swapping the meat for more veg means less saturated fat.


Phil Vickery Save Money Good Diet

Save Money Good Diet by Phil Vickery will be published by Kyle Books on 30 May, price £14.99. As well as brilliant recipes, there’s useful advice on eating healthily on a budget from nutrition therapist Ian Marber and every dish comes with a full nutrition breakdown. To order a copy for £11.99 until 2 June, visit or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.