Cheap Comfort Food

11 Jun

I have a family of four and, up until recently, we were a single-income family.  That’s almost unheard of in South Africa, where you have to earn a pretty large salary for the luxury of one parent staying home.

I’ve had to find cheap, easy recipes that my husband, young daughter and infant son (who just recently started eating solids – yay!) would all enjoy.

Enter the classic and well-known spaghetti bolognaise.  A firm favourite all over the world and so quick to make.


Pardon the blurry photos 😛

I breastfeed my son, and he’s allergic to onions so I didn’t use my usual tomato&onion mix.  The tin in the pic already had basil and oregano added, which made it even more convenient.

The spaghetti was cooked following the usual package instructions.  Seriously, I could cook pasta before I knew how long to boil a soft egg for.  It’s super easy and pasta sells for an average of R10 a packet depending on where you buy.

I prefer very lean beef mince, which tends to be slightly more expensive, but I don’t like the fatty kind at all.  You can generally get away with around R35 for 400g or so.  This is enough to feed us plus a little left over for me for work the next day.

I’m not sure exactly how much the tin of diced tomato cost because hubby bought it, but I do know that the average cost for a tin of diced tomatoes with added herbs is between R11 – R16 depending on the brand and where you buy it.

Simmering away nicely.

Simmering away nicely.

I started off by frying up a bit of garlic and adding the mince to brown it. (If you’re adding onions, be sure to sauté them before adding the meat)  I then added the tin of diced tomatoes, a sachet of tomato paste and some Ina Paarman’s Rosemary and Olive Seasoning and let it simmer for a while.  I also added my secret ingredient….a teaspoon or so of sugar.

The sugar really rounds off the flavour and stops it from being too bland.


Et voila! Super quick, super easy supper for under R60.  This works with almost any kind of meat.  I’ve even made it with tuna.  It works with no meat at all, but then I would double up on the tomatoes.

Enjoy 🙂



One Response to “Cheap Comfort Food”

  1. acidicice (@acidicice) 12/06/2014 at 07:23 #

    I love a good spagbol. I’m the spagbol champ in our house, as surprising as that might be. Just add some cheese and black pepper and YUM!

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