As one of my kids tends to fish suspicious objects out of his food and cross-examine them, I chopped the vegetables up really small in a food processor to both to hide them, and make them the same size as the minced beef. And although he said he didn't want seconds, he didn't seem too reluctant to clean out the last remaining sauce out of his bowl after all the pasta had been eaten.
Liver or bacon seems to be a modern traditional ingredient in many spag bol's. I add it because it is a great source of iron for the kids plus it add another layer of flavour. Finely diced and covered in a rich tomato sauce the children don't seem to notice. But if you don't like handling it you could always puree it with the tomatoes. The liver and tomato cocktail looks disgusting but it cooks down just fine!
Wine too is an optional extra. I know some people don't like the idea of alcohol in children's food. I do, in the hope they might fall asleep quicker of a night, but it never seems to affect them.
Serves 8-10 depending on how high you pile your sauce!
500g lean beef mince
100g lambs or chicken liver, or smokey bacon (optional)
1 large leek or onion
1 stick of celery
2 medium carrots
1 large clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 glass red wine (optional)
2 tins of tomatoes
Finely chop the leek or onion (I used a sprouting leek from my veg patch in mine) and garlic in a food processor and fry in a large saucepan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Finely chop the carrot and celery in the food processor and add these when ready. Stir and put a lid/plate on for a few minutes to let the vegetables sweat. Add the mince, then finely chop the liver if using, and not pureeing, and add this. Stir and break the meat up for a few minutes and then
Serve over any shape pasta with parmesan cheese if you have it. Or cheddar.