1 classic recipe + 9 variations: Vegie-packed bolognese
(at time of publication)
Step 1 Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mince, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 5–6 minutes, until browned.
Step 2 Add carrot, zucchini, celery and squash. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until sauce has thickened, adding lentils in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Note: Nutrition information, time to make and costings apply to Base recipe only.
Potato-topped bolognese pies: Preheat grill to high. Boil and mash 4 medium potatoes (add a little skim milk, if necessary). Divide hot bolognese between 4 x 1 1/2-cup ramekins. Top with mash, spray with oil and grill for 5–10 minutes, until golden.
Cheesy pasta bake: Preheat oven to 180°C. Cook 375g wholemeal penne. Drain. Return to saucepan, add bolognese to pasta and toss to coat. Transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup low-fat grated mozzarella and 1/4 cup shredded parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden.
Mince with polenta: Bring 2 cups skim milk and 2 cups cold water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add 3/4 cup instant polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly, until combined. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan. Spoon polenta onto plates, then top with bolognese. Sprinkle with a little parmesan and fresh basil leaves.
Simple lasagne: You will need a pack of fresh lasagne sheets. Preheat oven to 200°C. Spread 1/3 of bolognese over the base of a 6-cup capacity baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the lasagne sheets, cutting to fit. Repeat to form 3 layers. Sprinkle top layer of pasta with 1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese. Bake for 45–50 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.
Turkish bread pizza: Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 1 long loaf of Turkish bread onto a lined baking tray. Spread with 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Sprinkle with 50g crumbled reduced-fat feta, then half the bolognese. Sprinkle with another 50g feta. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until warmed through. Top with 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley. Freeze remaining bolognese.
Bolognese pasties: Preheat oven to 200°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Using a 12cm cutter, cut 16 rounds from 4 sheets of thawed reduced-fat short-crust pastry. Spoon 1/4 cup bolognese onto each round. Brush edges with a little beaten egg. Bring pastry edges together to form a semi-circle. Pinch edges together to seal. Place pasties on baking trays. Brush with egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until golden.
Bolognese potatoes: Preheat oven to 180°C. Wash 4 large potatoes and prick each one a few times with a fork. Wrap each potato in foil, place on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and carefully unwrap. Slice potatoes lengthwise, about halfway through. Squeeze opposite ends to ‘open’ potatoes (use a towel or oven mitts – potatoes will be hot!). Spoon bolognese into potatoes to serve.
Beef tacos: Preheat oven to 180°C. Warm 12 taco shells for 5 minutes. Half fill each shell with warmed bolognese. Top with shredded lettuce, grated carrot, chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion and shredded low-fat cheese.
Sloppy Joes with coleslaw: Place 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 100g plain low-fat yoghurt and 1 tablespoon white vinegar into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add 3 cups shredded cabbage, 2 small grated carrots, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 2 thinly sliced green onions and 1 thinly sliced green capsicum. Toss to combine. Split 4 wholemeal hamburger buns in half. Top each bun with a quarter of the bolognese, a quarter of the coleslaw and bun tops.
- Squash can be replaced with 200g of finely-hopped broccoli or beans.
- To freeze, transfer cooled Bolognese to a plastic container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
About this Recipe
- Base recipe
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 300g extra lean beef mince
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 large zucchini, grated
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 200g yellow squash, grated
- 2 x 400g cans no-added-salt diced tomatoes
- 400g can no-added-salt brown lentils, drained, rinsed
Nutritional information (per serve)
Nutrition information is given per serve
*NS: not specified