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Food & Cuisine

Easy spaghetti Bolognese

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This sauce can be cooked in advance and frozen. Leave to cool completely then pop in a freezer-proof container, it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 400g/14oz beef mince

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 100g/3½oz carrot, grated

  • 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

  • 400ml/14fl oz stock (made from stock cube. Ideally beef, but any will do)

  • 400g/14oz dried spaghetti

  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and once hot add the beef mince and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the mince until well browned over a medium-high heat (be careful not to burn the mince. It just needs to be a dark brown colour). Once browned, transfer the mince to a bowl and set aside.

  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the saucepan you browned the mince in and turn the heat to medium. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and fry gently for 5-6 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the grated carrot then pour the mince and any juices in the bowl back into the saucepan.

  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir well to mix. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer and then reduce the temperature to simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and rich. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

  4. When ready to cook the spaghetti, heat a large saucepan of water and add a pinch of salt. Cook according to the packet instructions. Once the spaghetti is cooked through, drain and add to the pan with the bolognese sauce. Mix well and serve.

Food & Cuisine

UN FAO: Food prices jump in January.

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Food prices rose in January, and has become stronger for vegetable oils and sugar, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 164.8 points last month against 161.8 in December.

In spite of the rise, the index was still 2.2 per cent below its January 2018 level.



The FAO dairy price index jumped 7.2 per cent from December’s value, ending seven months of declines.

FAO said limited export supplies from Europe, caused by strong internal demand, was the main driving force behind the increase.

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FAO’s vegetable oil price index rose 4.3 per cent from the previous month, while its sugar index rose 1.3 per cent and its cereal index made marginal gains on December.

The meat price index was largely unchanged.

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FAO lifted its latest world cereal production forecast for 2018 to 2.611 billion tonnes, slightly higher than the December reading, reflecting upward revisions for maize, wheat and rice.

“Much of the projected growth is associated with expected increases in Europe, where beneficial weather has so far shored up yield prospects while also sowings are forecast to expand, largely driven by attractive prices,” FAO said.

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Food & Cuisine

Cells that could prevent obesity, diabetes, hypertension found by American scientists.

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An American scientists has discovered a group of cells in the small intestine that slows down metabolism and increase fat accumulation.

The study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature  may lend a clue to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes and hypertension.



Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in the US found that mice lacking those cells called intraepithelial T lymphocytes or natural IELs could burn fat and sugar without gaining weight.

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When those cells are present, they suppress a hormone that speeds up metabolism and conserves more energy it gets from food.

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Such a mechanism used to be an evolutionary advantage when food was scarce in ancient time, but “with the food so abundant,this energy-saving mechanism can backfire and lead to unhealthy outcomes,” said the paper’s lead researcher Filip Swirski from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Swirski’s study can eventually contribute to cardiovascular disease and other metabolic ailments.

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