Bolognese four ways

“This recipe has been a lifesaver for our family. As a time-poor mum of three kids under four, I always turn to this recipe to get vegetables secretly into their tummies, while ensuring we don’t end up with the same meal every night. It’s taken me a while to perfect, but now it’s quick and easy. I hope your family will love it as much as mine!”

What you need
2 tablespoons oil
1 kg minced beef or pork
3 carrots
1 large zucchini
1 cup mushrooms
2 capsicums (any colour you like)
1 eggplant
2 onions
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1⁄2 cup tomato paste
1 large jar pasta sauce of your choice
(bolognese works well)
3 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

What to do

  1. Finely dice the eggplant, capsicum, mushrooms and onions – the smaller you chop them, the less likely the kids will notice them and pick them out! Grate the carrots and zucchini.
  2. Heat the oil in an extra-large frying pan, then add the onions and cook until tender. Add the garlic and fry for one minute.
  3. Add the mince and cook, stirring regularly, until almost cooked through.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook for one minute, before adding salt to taste.
  5. Add all the vegetables, pasta sauce and tins of tomatoes. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft, then add the basil and oregano and simmer with the lid off, until the desired consistency is reached. The sauce is now ready to be used for your favourite dish.

Spaghetti: Use a vegetable spiral cutter to make vegetable pasta with carrot and zucchini. Cook with boiling water until tender and serve with the sauce. Alternatively, cook regular spaghetti as per packet instructions.

Nachos: Pile the sauce on top of corn chips with some mixed beans and grated cheese, and place
in a hot oven until the cheese melts. Top with sour cream.

Enchiladas: Fill wraps with the sauce mixture and roll into logs. Place in a baking dish, cover with a jar of salsa, top with grated cheese and warm in the oven until the cheese is golden brown.

Lasagne: Place between sheets of pasta with béchamel sauce. Top with grated cheese and warm in the oven until the cheese is golden brown and the lasagne sheets are cooked.

TIP: This recipe can be made vegetarian by omitting the meat. It is also great for freezing.

One Mother to Another EATS is a collation of recipes from household names, chefs and everyday mums designed to fund the ongoing support of mums and carers in hospital with sick children. 

onemothertoanother.org.nz