Toddlers can be fussy little munchkins (bless).
There has been many a lovingly prepared meal that has had the little monkey of this house turn his nose up in disgust, “don’t like it mama” with nary a taste! When I’m not in the mood for rejection of my culinary toils, I present my darling boy with his most favourite fare to date – Spaghetti Bolognaise.
Little does he know that it is chock full of all the vegies he claims he doesn’t like! Gotcha!
This recipe is a tasty treat for little kids and big kids alike and variations can be easily accommodated. Most of the ingredients will be readily available in your pantry and fridge.
500g organic lean beef mince
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 medium carrot – grated
1 medium zucchini – grated
1 small fresh beetroot – grated
1 stick celery, string removed – finely chopped
1/4 red capsicum – finely chopped
6 button mushrooms – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 400g can chopped organic tomatoes (or use 4 large fresh tomatoes – skinned and chopped)
1 140g can organic tomato paste
2 tblsp sunflower oil
3 bay leaves
1 small sprig rosemary
1 tsp organic vegetable stock powder
1 tsp organic raw sugar (optional but makes a huge difference to the acidity!)
salt and cracked black pepper to season
1. Heat oil in large saucepan.
2. Fry onions over medium heat until clear.
3. Add beef and fry over high heat until lightly browned and all moisture has evaporated. Break up any large chunks of meat during this step.
4. Add carrot, zucchini, beetroot, celery, capsicum, mushrooms and garlic. Fry on high heat stirring constantly for 2 mins.
5. Add tinned tomatoes and 2 cans of water (I use this step to wash the can out for recycling and get any of the remaining tomato juices out of the can and into the bolognaise), tomato paste, vegetable stock, sugar, pinch of cracked black pepper, bay leaves and rosemary.
6. Cover until boiling then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15mins stirring occasionally.
7. Remove lid and gently simmer for 1hr stirring occasionally. This allows all of the vegies to cook and the flavours to meld.
8. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
9. Serve with your favourite pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese and some torn fresh basil.