Ah the humble Bolognese. I just can’t rant on enough how important I think it is to have a basic Bolognese sauce in your fridge at all times. No exaggeration. It’s a versatile, nutritionally dense and delicious meal option. So here’s my recipe for creating a nutritionally packed sauce and what you can do with it.
For every 500g of mince you will need:
1 stick of celery
1 clove of garlic
1 small piece of broccoli or just the stem of a piece of broccoli
1 700g jar tomato passata
1 cup of chicken stock
NOTE: I like to use half beef mince and half pork mince. And I always make a big batch (1.5-2kg of meat and the equivalent veggie content – it’s a great leftover meal, can be breakfast, lunch or dinner and you’ll be thankful to have it on hand during the week).
Chop the vegetables in a blender until they are very fine, you want them to disappear into the sauce. Fry them in olive oil over a low heat slowly (for about 10-15 minutes). ‘Sweating’ your vegetables releases their flavours. Add the meat and mix until combined. This will take a little elbow grease but will only take a few minutes until you have a smooth sauce. Add the jar of tomato passata and stock and turn the heat down low. I like to let it simmer for a few hours. If it’s too watery, simmer with the lid off for a while. You want it a bit watery however because it loses some of that when reheated. When it is cooked you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer. I like to store it in the freezer in a silicone muffin tray. This gives me ¼ cup sized servings to make it easy to defrost for breakfasts or lunches. If you want to keep it a few days longer without freezing, reheat it until boiling every day or so and you will get another couple of days from it. Otherwise freeze it in the serving portions you want and defrost in the fridge the day before you need it.
This recipe ensures you are getting vegetables and protein with your meal and the wonderful benefits of gelatin from your chicken stock. This is a gut healing meal that I eat a few times a week in various forms.
Here are my 7 favourite ways to serve Bolognese:
Classic Bolognese with pasta, gluten free pasta or zucchini noodles
Chilli con carne – add mild chilli to taste and a tin of red kidney beans
Shepherd’s Pie – add some frozen peas and top with mashed potato for a family classic
Serve with organic corn chips and guacamole for Friday night nachos
Serve on top of a baked potato with Greek yoghurt
Have it on its own for a filling, protein packed breakfast
Mexican savoury mince – add a tin of corn and some jalapeno chilli
Bolognese sauce really is the saviour of the modern family in my view. Yes as adults it can be tedious sometimes but you’ll miss this staple when your little ones are all grown up and you’re looking for that comfort of your own Bolognese! And besides, anything that makes my life easier each week tops my priority list.