Friday, 23 September 2011

Recipes - Veggie-ful Bolognese

What is one thing kids can not have too much of?  Vegetables.  And what is one thing kids never get enough of? Vegetables.  My kids eat their veggies, usually without a fight, but I still struggle to get enough veggies in their diet.  So, I am always looking for ways to veggie-pack recipes and have discovered that there is a great utensil, that is a standard in all kitchens, that makes veggie-packing meals a lot easier.

The humble grater.  

Grating vegetables helps them breakdown faster, leaving no visible sign that they were ever there.  This trick works really well in tomato based sauces such as nachos, beef stew, beef stroganoff, my own Mexican Chicken recipe and pasta sauces such as this bolognese.  It can also be used when preparing soups, stews, casseroles and curries.  I like to aim for a minimum of five or six vegetables per dish.  Slow cooking on a low heat produces the best results.  


Ingredients
500g beef mince
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely diced
8 button mushrooms, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, grated
2 zucchini, grated
4 celery stalks, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1/2 butternut pumpkin, grated
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 cup water
salt and pepper to season

Step 1 - Heat a good what of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.  Fry garlic, onions and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes until cooked. Add beef and fry until browned.
Step 2 - Throw in carrot, zucchini, celery and capsicum and fry for another 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until tomato paste is darker in colour and well cooked.
Step 3 - Reduce heat, add tin tomatoes and water.  Season well, cover with lid and slowly simmer for 3-5 hours.
Step 4 - With an hour to go, add pumpkin.  Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Cover with lid and slowly simmer until sauce is thick and vegetables have melted into the sauce.  If sauce looks like it is drying out, add a little more water. 
Step 5 - Cook pasta.
Step 6 - Mix pasta into sauce and serve w grated parmesan cheese.


Notes:


Mushrooms will not break down into sauce, however, will go undetected if diced very finely.

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