I AM trying to aid my mother's recovery from a long illness by feeding her up, which involves creating meals stuffed with as much goodness as possible that are both tasty and easy to eat. Pasta has proved a real favourite, especially when I serve it with a bolognese sauce which calls for lots of fresh vegetables, garlic and herbs. She finds this dish easy to digest and particularly flavoursome. I use spirals or shell shapes for the pasta as the spaghetti proves difficult to pick up. To make things easy for myself I cook enough for four people, give her one fresh and then freeze the rest in individual servings that can be microwaved later.

To serve four to six, you will need: 8oz (225g) dried pasta shells One lb (450g) minced beef One large onion - chopped fine One red pepper - de-seeded and chopped fine One stick celery - chopped fine One carrot - chopped fine 2 tomatoes - de-seeded and chopped 4oz (120g) mushrooms - chopped fine One clove garlic - chopped fine Half bunch fresh oregano - chopped fine Few sprigs parsley - chopped fine One bay leaf Olive oil One tube tomato paste One dspn flour One pt (600ml) stock One oz (25g) Parmesan cheese Salt and freshly ground black peppercorns Method: Make the sauce first by heating enough olive oil to cover the surface of a large frying pan When the oil is hot, add the mince and fry until almost cooked, then add the chopped onion, pepper, celery, carrot, tomatoes and mushrooms to the pot and stir well in When the vegetables begin to soften, add the tomato paste and then the flour and cook for a few more minutes Now gradually pour in about a pint of stock and stir well, toss in the oregano, parsley and bay leaf, adjust seasoning, place a lid on the frying pan and allow to simmer gently on a low heat while you cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water Drain the pasta once it has reached the al dente stage, pour a little olive oil on it when drained - I find this helps the shells to separate - besides which, it adds extra flavour Divide the pasta into four or six portions, cover with sauce (having removed the bay leaf) then cool and freeze, or serve immediately with shavings of Parmesan cheese.