Luscious nutritious bolognese
This is my recipe for bolognese – not a traditional ragù alla bolognese or the version my Mum made from my childhood, which while it evokes fond memories was about 90% mince.
Over the years I’ve added more and more vegetables to the point that this recipe only contains 500 grams of mince, seven different vegetables and a can of lentils. AND it makes enough to serve an army. Or at least make multiple meals. I love that with one pot and a bit of time in the kitchen I can prepare upward of three dinners. This really is a nutrition bomb. It’s easy on the wallet too.
So here is my Bolognese recipe. I’ll write another post soon about turning it into lasagne... like this one.
500 grams lean beef mince | 1 onion | 4 cloves or 2 large teaspoons crushed garlic
3 sticks celery | 2 carrots | 1 zucchini | 8-10 button mushrooms | 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
3 bay leaves | 1 heaped teaspoon quince paste | few stalks of parsley
1 tablespoon each Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar
375 millilitres red wine | 400 gram tin lentils | 800 gram tin crushed tomatoes
1 punnet cherry tomatoes | two large handfuls of baby spinach
- Start with your largest saucepan – this recipe makes quite a lot. Dice the onion, add it to the pan with a tiny touch of oil on low and cover with a lid. Finely dice the garlic and cut the celery into 5mm-ish cubes, then add to the onion one it has gone translucent, cover again while you continue preparing the vegetables. Grate the carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. Halve and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Finely chop the parsley.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the mince. Use a wooden spoon to break it up, stirring occasionally until it has browned all over. Add the grated vegetables, stirring to combine. Add the Italian herbs, bay leaves, quince paste, brown sauces and wine, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes and about 250 millilitres of water (I add a bit of water to the tomato tin, swirl it clean and add that to the pan). Once the Bolognese gets to a rapid boil, turn the heat down to low and reduce for an hour, stirring every so often so than nothing sticks to the bottom. The sauce should have thickened and reduced by a third to half once done.
- Now stir through the spinach to wilt, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve as you like – with pasta, as lasagne, etc etc.