Jasmine’s Spaghetti Bolognese
My family background is quite unusual. My immediate family is 6 people – Mum, Dad, my older brothers, younger sister and me. We were all born and raised in Australia but my extended family – my grandparents, aunt, uncles and great-grandparents – are from a mix of places including Australia, Turkiye, Croatia, Italy, Ireland, Thailand and Indonesia. I also have an aunty and uncle who are Aboriginal.
Not only are we from different cultural backgrounds but we have different religious beliefs including Islam, Catholic, Christianity and Buddhism.
My dad’s parents came to Australia from Ankara, Turkey, in the 1970s. My dad’s family has been Muslim for centuries but my mum is a revert, meaning that she converted to Islam. My mum has been Muslim for about 20 years.
We all enjoy being in the kitchen, cooking and eating together.
Lots of people in my family are great cooks and we have some very yummy dishes to eat at our family gatherings. Normally everyone brings a dish to share and it’s usually from their different cultural backgrounds. It is like a smorgasbord of foods from around the world, such as: My baba Anne’s (meaning ‘grandmother’ in Turkish) yummy gozleme; Kwun Yay’s (meaning ‘grandmother’ in Thai) delicious spring rolls; my Nan’s scrumptious homemade chicken pastry rolls; my Aunty’s tasty beef rendang (from her Indonesian background)… not to leave out Poppy’s awesome Aussie BBQs!
I love my family and I love that we are all from different backgrounds and enjoy each other’s company. We really do not see each other as different – we are all family and only see each other for who we are, not where we are from. I actually never really thought about how many cultures we had in our relatively small family until I was thinking about writing this with my parents for Recipes for Ramadan.
The non-Muslim part of our family really respects our religion. We never have food that contains pork at our parties and gatherings. Everyone is respectful and just gets along. I think my family represents multicultural Australia as a whole and I’m glad and proud of that. I feel really lucky. Alhumdulilah – which means ‘Thanks to God’ in Arabic.
Even at home on any normal day, regardless of whether it is our cultural background, my family often has a mix of foods for dinner such as Mexican or Indian food. We love trying new things and we get to experience food which comes from different countries. It is a fun and yummy way to learn about other places and other people’s cultures.
We chose to make and share our family recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese for Recipes for Ramadan because it is a dish that we have eaten since we were little. Like many people in Australia and all around the world, it’s one of our family favourites and we eat it regularly.
For us, Spaghetti Bolognese reminds us of home and family. My Nan’s background is from Croatia and Italy and she taught my mum how to make it her way, and now my mum has taught us. My mum sometimes even adds grated carrot or zucchini, she says it’s another way to eat more vegetables and we like that version too. We never get sick of it – especially when we make garlic bread and a fresh salad to go with it.
We have cooked this meal for iftar before when we have invited friends over. We like to make it because we know others will enjoy it. I remember when we had one of our friends over who was a really picky eater and his mum was so surprised when he finished his plate! He loved it even though he would not normally eat meat.
During the last two years with Covid-19, we couldn’t have people over for iftar which we usually do so to make the evening meal and breaking of the fast special Mum gave each of us special nights to choose any iftar we wanted. Often, we chose things that reminded us of our grandparents and aunt and uncles who couldn’t be with us. It’s an open choice but I choose Spaghetti Bolognese. Even though we eat it regularly and it’s not the most fancy or complicated dish, it is a special dish for us and a family favourite.
We hope that if you decide to make our Spaghetti Bolognese recipe in your home, you too really enjoy it with your family! It is pretty easy to make, so kids can also have a go helping their parents cook. We love it served with homemade garlic bread and a fresh and colourful salad.
Buon appetito! Enjoy!
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Thinly dice the onion and cook in a saucepan with oil on medium heat until soft and lightly browned. Set aside in a bowl.
Fry the mince until cooked. Add the onion to the mince together with crushed garlic until fragrant.
Add in the tomato soup, tomato paste, oregano and beef stock. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add water to make it more runny if needed. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
Meanwhile, boil pasta – any type of pasta that you like… shell shapes, curly pasta or straight long pasta.
To plate up, first of all place the pasta on the plate with the sauce on top. You can then add grated tasty cheese, Parmesan cheese or even a dollop of sour cream on top!