Bolognese sauce should be made in large quantities. It's one of those recipes that can be used in many other things, so I always make a very large pot and freeze it in large clip seal bags for later use. I am always grateful for these frozen parcels of easiness when it's been a long day and I have nothing planned for dinner. Or, when I'm just looking for an easy meal. Bolognese sauce is so versatile. You can add a little bit of this and a dash of that; whatever you have on hand. And, you can transform it into many other meals. Add a few spices with a sprinkle of chilli and chocolate for Chilli Con Carne, top with mashed potatoes for a delicious Shepherd's Pie, use for pizza, pasties and pin wheels or use for nachos and baked spud toppings. Will be a winner every time, however you serve it.
1 kg beef mince (or 1 cup red lentils)
1 tablespoon oil
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
2 cup stock (or 1 cup red wine, 1 cup stock)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Squeeze lemon juice
Chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram)
Pinch salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
Heat oil in a large saucepan.
Sauté onion, garlic, carrot, capsicum and celery for 5 minutes or until softened. Add mince. Cook further 5 minutes or until browned, breaking up lumps with the back of a spoon or a fork. Stir through tomatoes, wine or stock, tomato paste, sugar and bay leaves. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir through chopped fresh herbs in last minute of cooking time. Remove bay leaves. Bolognese sauce can be simmered longer to reduce liquid content further making a thicker sauce. Makes 8-10 cups.
Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chilli powder and 425g tin kidney beans (drained) to 4 cups of Bolognese sauce for Chilli Con Carne. Add 1 tablespoon grated dark chocolate (optional) for an authentic taste. Serve with rice and corn chips.
Life for us has been all about survival on a shoestring budget. I cook from scratch and don't buy prepackaged mixes of anything. I've learnt how to live on very basic (and cheap) staples. I've raised happy and healthy kids and I believe that good food is central to a good life!
The Economics of Eating App is now available for purchase!
I have an unpublished cookbook manuscript that lives on my kitchen bench. This is the collection that I have fed my family from for many years, all made from a core list of practical and economical ingredients. The manuscript is splattered with butter, flour and milk from daily use. It moves between the kitchen and the office as I edit and test-kitchen the recipes.