In collaboration with Domu
Hidden Vegetable Bolognese – An easy peasy recipe for a family favourite dinner. Quick to make as a midweek meal, brilliant as a freezer filler and packed with extra veg. All the family (including the kids!) will love it.
We are fully back in the swing of a new school year here. My organised mornings with book bags at the ready and socks in pairs (pairs! Imagine that!) lasted all of a week. Tell me parents, is there an answer to the morning chaos? I’m a fairly organised person generally but somehow, school mornings seem to send us all a tad mad.
However, I am determined to crack the after school muddle that we sometimes find ourselves in. Homework has now been added into the mix here, so I am aiming to organise myself to not have to work or do chores once the children are home. This includes getting the freezer filled with at least a few batches of homemade meals ready to whip out at a moments notice.
A couple of weeks ago, the people at Domu.co.uk, who are an online retailer of kitchen and homeware, asked me if I’d like to try out any gadgets from their site to make my life in the kitchen a little easier.
Knowing that I had planned on doing some batch cooking I opted for their mini food chopper to help with my food prep. Now, no one could possibly think that I need another piece of kitchen equipment really but oh my goodness, this nifty little piece of kit made light work of piles of veggies.
I decided to make this hidden vegetable bolognese as a super easy way to get heaps of good stuff into children at dinner time. The benefit also is that once frozen, you’ve got meat and vegetables all ready for dinner in one dish.
The little Domu chopped whizzed through carrots, onions, mushrooms, courgettes and celery, making the vegetable prep I normally loathe, actually quite fun. I’d definitely recommend investing in one if you plan on doing any batch cooking this autumn.
What’s your favourite freezer filler meal? Or ways to sneak vegetables into your family diet?
Tips for making the Hidden Vegetable Bolognese Recipe:
- It really does make a huge difference to the texture of this bolognese sauce recipe to chop the vegetables very finely. Of course, I would recommend the Domu mini food chopper. It really is a fab little piece of kit (currently on offer at £17.98 on Amazon too!)
- If your children will spot even the green of the courgettes, you could peel them first.
- My favourite way to cook bolognese is actually in the oven as I think it gives a slightly more rich flavour. So, if you have time, do everything up until point 5 of the recipe below, then pop in the oven at 150C for about 2 hours, checking occasionally to add some more wine/stock if it’s drying out. I’ve cooked it on the hob here though for the sake of midweek speed.
- I cooked my bolognese in my beloved favourite ever casserole dish (available on Amazon).
- This freezes so well. Perfect dish to pull out as a base for heaps of other meals. When it is totally cold, I package up in these dishes, label and freeze.
How to make the Hidden Veg Spaghetti Bolognese recipe:
- 250g Carrots
- 200g Chestnut mushrooms
- 1 Large courgette
- 1 Large onion
- 2 Celery stalks
- 95g Pancetta slices, finely chopped
- 500g Lean beef mince
- 3 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 x 400g tins Chopped tomatoes
- 350ml Red wine (or beef stock if you prefer)
- Whole nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- Use your chopper or food processor to finely chop the carrots, mushrooms, courgettes, onions and celery.
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, fry off your small pieces of pancetta. Remove from the pan to a large dish.
- In the fat left in the bottom of the pan, brown your mince over a medium high heat. Allow it all to turn brown and start to crisp slightly. Remove from the pan and add to the dish with the pancetta.
- Now add the garlic to the pan and fry for 2 - 3 minutes, before adding the finely chopped vegetables. Fry them for about 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the pancetta and mince back to the pan. Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine, a good grating of the fresh nutmeg (about a quarter of a nutmeg) and salt and pepper.
- Leave the heat on medium, with the lid on and allow to bubble away for at least 30 minutes (an hour on a very low temperature if you have time).
- Remove from the heat and add in chopped or ripped basil leaves.
- Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan.
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Domu, as always, all opinions are truthful.