A really simple one today and one you can make in advance and then just heat up in the oven when you need it. Also a good one to stash into your freezer for a later date too!
I’m sure you all have your own way of making a bolognaise, i’m sure most Italians would probably turn in their grave if they saw my version!!…but this is generally how i make it and use it as a good excuse to pack in the veggies at the same time.
My daughter, as some of you may already know, isn’t keen on pasta so we don’t tend to have it much in this house, i don’t eat a lot of it either although if i do choose pasta i would probably go for a lentil pasta or something along those lines…Anyway, i digress..but what i wanted to say was that the reason this isn’t a bolognaise pasta bake is because we don’t tend to have much pasta so Bolognaise rice bake it is instead! Of course if you prefer pasta then simply cook your pasta and then add in place of the rice. I would also probably top with some mozarella and basil perhaps if using pasta option!! YUM!
Anyway, this is really simple, to start with get your rice on the boil. You can use leftover rice if you have it or even a pre-made rice pouch but if you’re cooking it from scratch then start boiling that first and then drain when cooked…
Make sure all your veg is chopped and your ingredients out then you’re ready to start on your bolognaise.
First thing to do is fry off some onions until slightly softened.
Then add your mince and brown.
Once browned add all the other ingredients and season. The veg, garlic, herbs etc…
Then the liquids….Season and stir well, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 mins or so while your rice is cooking.
Once this has been simmering away, the veg is tender or close to cooked (it will cook a little more in the oven) and the rice is boiled all you need to do is take a few large spoonfuls of the bolognaise, using a slotted spoon so the mixture doesn’t become too wet and then take a couple of big spoonfuls of rice together with a large handful of frozen peas and then mix in an oven proof dish.
Flatten it all down with the back of your spoon and then top top the whole thing with cheese and pop into the oven until the cheese has melted and the bake is warmed through. Cook at 180C for around 30/40 mins or so.
If you’ve popped this into the fridge to cook later it will probably need a little longer if you’re cooking straight from the hob then it will need less time as will already be warm so will need just enough for the cheese to melt! You can always pop the bake under the grill to brown the cheese too…
..and then you’re done!
Slice and serve!
What you need:
- 500g Beef mince
- 1 onion – finely diced
- 1 large carrot – finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic – crushed
- 1 celery stalk – finely chopped
- 1 courgette – finely chopped
- Handful of choppped button mushrooms
- Splash of worcestershire, quite generous
- Glug of red wine
- 1 stock cube
- Tomato puree
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- Wholegrain basmati rice
- Handful of frozen peas
- Cheese (I have used a mix of cheddar and dairy free cheese, mozarella would also be nice on this especially is using pasta in place of rice !!)
- Bay leaf
- Mixed herbs
What you need to do:
- First of all get your rice on the boil and cook as per packet instructions.
- Next start frying your onion in a little oil in a large frying or saute pan.
- Once the onion has softened slightly add the mince and brown.
- Once browned crumble the stock cube in and then add all the remaining ingredients, except for the cheese and peas.
- Season well, stir and then reduce the heat and simmer for around 20/25 mins.
- Once the veg is tender or almost tender you can start to transfer a couple of large spoonfuls into an oven proof dish.
- Add a couple of spoonfuls of the cooked rice, the frozen peas and then mix together well.
- Push the mixture down with the back of your spoon and then top with grated cheese.
- Now place into a preheated oven at 180C for 30 mins or until the cheese is melted and the bake warmed through.
Suggestions/swaps: As mentioned above this would also work with pasta so why not top with some mozzarella or parmesan and some basil?
You can include any veggies you like in this, if you’re child isn’t a fan of courgettes simply leave that out!
Why not try serving this with some garlic bread or a simple salad or like me another side of veg!! Either way I really hope you like this…as ever please comment below!