1. River Cottage Bolognese
The whole family will love this recipe, from baby to grown up! I usually make double quantity so I always have some on hand in the freezer for a quick pasta meal or cottage pie.
For babies: Puree or finely chop
For grown ups and older children: Add a glass of red wine to the veg and mince and let it bubble and reduce by half before the tomatoes go in. You can also start the dish by frying some chopped bacon or pancetta, to give it a richer result.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g beef mince
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. As they start sizzling, turn down the heat and cover the pan. Sweat gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft.
Add the mince to the pan, turn up the heat and stir with a fork to break up the mince until the meat has lost its raw look.
Add the tomatoes and bay leaf to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then half-cover the pan with the lid. Cook gently, stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes. You can cook for up to an hour and a half for a more flavour.
Serve hot with pasta and grated cheese or use it to make a cottage pie.
2. Mini Pot Pies
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
500g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
250g potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
5 button mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
2 x 400g can crushed tomatoes
½ cup beef stock
olive oil spray
1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until soft. Drain, mash and stir though milk.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add mince and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
3. Stir stock and cook for 2 minutes until almost evaporated. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Divide between 6 x 1 cup ovenproof dishes. Top with mash, spray with oil and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Easy Mini Pumpkin & Cherry Tomato Quiches
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
300g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into small cubes
Olive oil spray
12 slices white bread, crust removed
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
125g low fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place pumpkin on a lined baking tray and spray with oil. Bake in a hot oven 200’C for 15 minutes or until tender
2. Roll or push down to flatten each slices of bread, then press into cups of greased muffin pan
3. Spoon in the pumpkin and tomato
4. Whisk the cream cheese, eggs, cream, chives and seasoning until smooth with fork. Spoon evenly over the pumpkin and tomato.
5. Bake in a hot oven 200’C for 15-18 minutes until golden. Cool slightly, then remove and serve warm or cold.