Want to come on a culinary travel adventure with me?
Well this recipe is what would happen if dishes could travel.
If the all time family favourite spaghetti bolognese happened to take a trip where would it go? Probably to the Amalfi coast. But if it was feeling a little adventurous I suspect it would jump on a boat and head to one of the Greek Isles.
This is what would happen. The parmesan would get replaced with creamy tangy Greek yogurt and gorgeous kalamata olives.
The spaghetti could turn into some soft white beans or a big bowl of greens.
A change is as good as a holiday. Especially at dinner time.
If you want to continue on this voyage you can see what our bolognese friend becomes in China over here.
- 500 g frozen spinach
- 500 g mince
- 1 cup tomato passata
- 1 teaspoon onion powder optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- 50 g olives
For the spinach, place frozen spinach in a large frying pan on a high heat. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Then stir and keep cooking until the spinach is hot and the excess liquid has evaporated. Divide between two plates or flat bowls.
Rinse out the pan and get it back on a high heat. Add a little oil and the meat and cook, stirring until the meat is no longer pink but don't worry about browning it too much.
Add the onion powder (if using) and tomato passata and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil and simmer to reduce for a few minutes.
Pile the meat sauce on top of the spinach. Finish by dolloping the yoghurt on top and scattering over the olives.
Variations & Substitutions for Greek Bolognese
plan-B (pantry) – this is a total pantry recipe.
no onion powder – leave it out or soften a diced onion or use 1 crushed clove of garlic instead.
short on time – use two pans to cook the beef and the spinach concurrently. Or use fresh baby spinach instead and just serve it on the plates without cooking.
vegetarian – lentils or tofu.
nightshade-free – soften an onion then brown the meat and remove from the heat. Add in 1/4 cup lemon juice.
no yoghurt – good with feta or parmesan instead.
no tomato passata – substitute 4 tablespoons tomato paste and some water, or canned tomatoes.
different protein – as above or any ground meat. Sausages are good too. Or you could use slow cooked lamb shoulder for an even more Greek vibe.
dairy-free – replace yoghurt with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or use cashew or coconut yoghurt.
nightshade-free – try this Chinese not-Bolognese instead.
more substantial (carb lovers) – cooked spaghetti.
more substantial (low carb) – extra olives or yoghurt or add avocado or roast walnuts.
different vegetables – frozen peas or green beans or other green veg will work or cauliflower rice – just cook frozen veg in the pan as per the method above. OR use canned white beans. OR baby spinach or other salad leaves. Sliced cucumber or zucchini noodles would be great.
no olives – pickled onion is good or use fresh dill or basil instead. Roast pinenuts or walnuts also work.
more fancy / for entertaining – serve with a Greek salad or some fresh dill, basil or parsley.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
frozen spinach – will keep in the freezer for months.
mince – freeze it.
tomato passata / onion powder / salt – keep them in the pantry.
yoghurt – usually has a shelf life of a month or so. Otherwise, have it for another meal like breakfast! Don’t freeze.
olives – keeps for months in an unopened jar. Opened jars or from the deli will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – more salt! More olives. A splash of balsamic vinegar. Or add in a flavour bomb.
too wet – it’s important to cook off the extra moisture in the spinach. If it’s taking too long you can strain it using a sieve before putting on your plates.
sticking to the pan – next time make sure your pan is hot before adding the oil and make sure the oil is hot before adding the food. For now remove from the heat and stirring in a splash of water will help it release.
taking too long – different ovens vary in heating speed. And once you open the door to check it takes time to come back to temperature. So be patient!
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the olives and yoghurt separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen.
More Recipes like Greek Bolognese
- Chinese Noodle Not-Bolognese
- Beef, Broccolini, Basil
- Quick Smoky Beef & Aubergine
- 15-Minute Goulash
- Balsamic Meatballs with Ricotta