Monday, June 15, 2015
Vegie-loaded Spaghetti Bologanise
I can't believe that in 7 years blogging I've never even considered posting my spaghetti bolognaise recipe before. I mean everyone and their mum has the best recipe out there, can you really improve on perfection? I changed my mind though as there has been a theme in my baking and cooking lately of surprise ingredients and hidden veggies and thought it might be interesting to others.
I just recently spilled the beans to my cauliflower-hating husband that he's been happily chowing down on cauliflower rice without even noticing! I did feel a little guilty about that but honestly if he enjoyed it then most kids will. But that's a recipe for another day.
The basic secret to my bolognaise sauce is pureeing a whole heap of veggies until they are very fine and cooking it very slowly for maximum flavour. By fully incorporating the vegetables into the sauce there are no weird textures or bits for the kids to pick out. It is all just tomato saucy goodness!
To be honest this is easiest in the Thermomix as it chops, cooks and then purees all in the same pot however a food processor and stick blender will do the job as well.
I always make a big batch. The recipe below makes 2 full dinners plus leftovers for our family of 5 easily. We always use half on the night is made and freeze the rest for later. One will be spaghetti bologanise and then the next will be lasagne.
The rest of the family loves spaghetti but I will often have my bolognaise sauce on a pile of roasted pumpkin and greens. Makes my tummy happier and I get even more veggies in one meal which is a good thing.
If you have fussy kids (or husbands!) give this one a go :)
My Veggie-loaded Spaghetti Bolognaise
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
2 red capsicums
1kg beef mince (or a beef/pork/veal blend)
1 x 750ml jar tomato passata
2 tbs olive oil
a big handful of fresh herbs (basil/oregano/parsley) roughly chopped or 1tbs dried Italian herb mix
1 heaped tbs homemade veggie stock paste
salt and pepper to taste
TMX - place the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and capsicum into the bowl and chop for 10 seconds / SP 5-8, using the spatula to stir if needed. Add the oil, herbs, stock paste and passata and cook for 20 minutes / 100 degrees / SP 2. Scrap down the sides and puree for 1 minute / SP 5-9. Check for seasoning. While the sauce is cooking, brown the mince in a large pan. When the sauce is done either add it to the pan and simmer together for at least 30 minutes, or place the mince and sauce into the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Using a food processor or by hand, grate the carrots, celery, zucchini and capsicums and then set aside.
Place a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tbs oil. Brown the mince and then remove it from the pan, draining the fat if you wish (I don't bother).
Add the remaining 1 tbs oil along with the chopped onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
Add the grated veggies, passata, stock and herbs and simmer for around 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and it smells amazing.
Using a stick blender or food processor, blitz the sauce until it is completely smooth.
Return to the pot, add the browned mince, give it a good stir together and simmer for as long as you can (I usually do this step in the crockpot and allow it to cook on low for 4-6 hours) but even an hour would be good. Check for seasoning.
Serve with pasta or veggie noodles.