Bolognese is a favourite in my house. As a busy working mum, I make up a large batch and freeze most of it in portions so there's always a tasty meal to fall back on when I haven't had time to go shopping. As well as tasting great you can also easily adapt it to different ages so you don't end up making something different for everyone and best of all you can sneak in some vegetables so you have a good mix of everything your child needs in a meal.
Ingredients 1 large onion
Half a head of broccoli
1 stick celery
500g lean mince beef
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
80g pasta stars for under 1's or fusilli for toddlers
Chop the onion, carrots and celery into small bite sizes pieces.
Remove the broccoli florets and cut into smaller pieces.
Fry the onion in a little sunflower oil until almost soft.
Add the minced beef and fry until almost brown. Keep stirring to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the carrots and onion and continue to fry until the beef is fully browned.
Add the tinned chopped tomatoes and tomato purée.
Mix well and then add the broccoli.
Gently simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
This is the point you can now customise depending on the age of your kids. My toddler likes his with 'big pasta' so I just mix it with some freshly cooked fusilli and my husband and I usually eat it the same way too.
For younger kids, add the mini star pasta at the end and cook for a further 8 minutes. You may need to add a little water if the bolognese has got too thick. Star pasta is officially know as Stelline and is often used in soups.
My youngest son is now one so he's happy to eat to eat food with texture like this. If you're trying this with younger kids around 7 months then you can give it a quick blitz with a hand blender.
Stelline pasta is the name given to these tiny stars
If you are freezing into meal portions, allow to cool and the divide into containers.