It’s redux time…
This month’s recipe redux asks for one of the things I love to do when it comes to cooking dinner – cook once, but make 2 (or more) meals from it.
It seems that most people have their own version of the old favourite (meat-based) bolognese sauce that they whip up almost weekly – especially if they have kids!
Given that this coming Monday is the start of Meat-Free Week here in Australia (March 23-29th), I decided to showcase my lentil bolognese
I love this bolognese recipe as it is fairly quick to make. You then let it cook slowly on the stove (while you go about doing everything else you need to do) for 30 minutes or so for the lentils to cook and let all the vegetables ‘melt’ into the sauce
Bolognese is always best made a day (at least) before needing it as the flavour really develops and it becomes much tastier as it sits. Plus it can be made in huge batches and frozen (depending on how big your pots are of course!) The trick then is to serve it up in many different, varied ways so no-one knows they are eating bolognese again!!
Here are my 10 favorite ways to use bolognese…
- pour over noodles (legume based ones like San Remo’s Pulse Pasta or zoodles (shredded raw zucchini) and serve with salad
- make lasagne – layer between pasta sheets, top with a mixture of ricotta and milk and sprinkle with feta cheese before baking – serve with salad
- make a pasta bake – layer cooked noodles on the bottom of an oven dish, top with a layer of cooked spinach or baby spinach leaves, pour bolognese over the spinach and sprinkle the top with a mixture of tasty and parmesan cheeses and bake for 30 mins, until cheese is golden brown and the bake has heated through
- make eggplant moussaka – layer between cooked slices of eggplant and top with yoghurt, egg and parmessan (see lentil moussaka)
- make chilli sin carne – add a tin of kidney beans and some chilli (fresh or powdered) – serve with oven-warmed corn chips, or use as a topping for nachos, or a filling for tacos or wraps with shredded lettuce, tomato, a little grated cheese and natural yoghurt.
- enchiladas – add a tin of black beans, 1 cup frozen corn and a jar of old el paso enchiliada sauce. Fill wholegrain barley wraps, then fold in half. Layer in a baking tray, pour over 1 jar old el paso taco sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 mins or until golden brown. Serve with salad
- polenta – make a soft polenta, add extra spinach leaves to the hot bolognese and cook until they wilt, pour the cooked spinach and bolognese sauce over the polenta and sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil
- roasted capsicums – combine bolognese with cooked rice and fill capsicums that have been halved lengthways and had veins and seeds removed. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 30 mins, until golden
- baked potatoes – serve over baked potatoes, topped with natural or Greek yoghurt and fresh basil leaves or chives
- cottage pie – add peas to bolognese sauce and a dash of Worchestershire sauce. Pour into a baking dish and top with either mashed potato, a mix of mashed potato and pumpkin or potato and cauliflower or mashed sweet potato and sprinkle with either parmesan or feta cheese before baking.
What are your favourite ways with leftover bolognese?
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large (220g) or 2 medium brown onions, finely chopped
- 1 medium (200g) eggplant, finely diced
- 250g portabello or other large flat mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 medium (200g) carrots, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup (210g) puy lentils or uncooked brown lentils
- 500g jar pasta sauce* (I used Aldi organic pasta sauce)
- generous ½ cup (125+ ml) red wine
- 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
- handful baby spinach leaves, optional
- ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 300g (or more if serving hungry males) wholemeal pasta (or gluten free pasta if coeliac)
- 2 medium-large (300g) zucchinis
- 20g fresh parmesan or vegan cheese, optional
- Heat a large fry pan over medium heat
- When hot, add the oil and onion and sautee for 4-5 minutes until it softens and starts to brown
- Add a little water if the onion starts to stick
- Add the eggplant, mushrooms and carrots and sautee for 3-4 minutes before adding the garlic
- Sautee for another 3-4 minutes before adding the lentils, pasta sauce, red wine and vegetable stock
- Stir well and allow to come to the boil, then turn heat down and if you have a lid, cover the pan
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked
- Add extra water if needed
- Meanwhile cook your pasta and shred zucchini
- To assemble, toss zucchini through cooked pasta
- Stir spinach and basil through bolognese and serve on top of the 'zoodles'
- Sprinkle with parmesan just before eating
- Serve with salad
For those who don’t want to use the red wine, omit it and add an extra 1/2 cup of stock
For those who love red wine, feel free to splash in a little more
This sauce keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days and freezes well for up to 1 month
Per Serve (sauce only): 852 kJ or 202 calories; P 7g Fat 7g SFat 0.9g CHO 23g Fibre 8g
Per Serve (with 1 cup of cooked, 150g, wholemeal pasta and 80g zucchini noodles):
1788 kJ or 425 calories; P 16g Fat 9g SFat 1g CHO 60g Fibre 17g