Wednesday, 11 February 2015

5 Meals Using Leftover Bolognese Sauce

Simmering pot of bolognese sauce

Spaghetti bolognese is a very popular dish in my house. The kids like how it tastes, and I like how I can eke a few meals out of a few inexpensive ingredients, making it a very useful for frugal cooking. I also like that I can slip a few extra veggies in but I don't tell the boys that.

Invariably, I always cook about twice as much sauce as we need for one meal. This isn't a bad thing because a bolognese sauce can be used for so much more than just ladling on spaghetti.

1. Lasagne

I use the exact same sauce for a lasagne that I use for a spaghetti bolognese.

You will need:
  • Box of non-cook lasagne sheets - these can be layered in the sauce and don't need to be pre-cooked. 
  • Tub of ricotta cheese
  • Ball of mozarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs - thyme, basil, and oregano (if you can find them, otherwise dried will work)
  • Milk
  • Black pepper to season
  • Place the ricotta, a tablespoon or so of grated parmesan, a bit of grund black pepper, and the finely chopped fresh herbs (or dried) into a bowl. Add just enough milk to loosen the cheese enough to spread easily. 

  • Ladle a small amount of sauce into a casserole dish. Cover over with the lasagne sheets, spoon a bit more sauce over the top. Add a layer of the ricotta mixture. Then repeat with sheets, sauce and ricotta. 

  • Finish up with a layer of sauce over the top then shred the mozzarella and spread that plus another tablespoon or so of grated parmesan over the top.
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Bake the lasagne for about 30 - 45 minutes, until it is hot and bubbling, and the cheese is melted and browned across the top.

 2. Pasta bake

Similar to a lasagne, but without the fuss of layering.

You will need:

  • Cooked pasta - I use farfalle or penne, but anything you have in the cupboard would work.
  • Mozzarella or a combination of favourite cheeses
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Cook the pasta, drain and combine with the sauce. 
  • Stir in chunks of cheese
  • Spoon into a casserole dish and sprinkle the top over with parmesan, if desired. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350f/180c/gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes, until the top is browned and the dish is hot and bubbling. 

3. Pizza

A quick meal that can be as easy or as complicated as you desire.
Home made pizza

You will need:
  • Pizza bases, make your own or buy ready-made
  • Favourite grated cheeses
  • Assorted meats and vegetables for toppings
  • Fresh thyme and basil, roughly chopped
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

  • Place the base on a baking sheet
  • Spoon some of the sauce and spread over the pizza base. 
  • Add on any toppings you want
  • Add on a bit of cheese
  • Sprinkle over some of the fresh herbs, a bit of black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350f/180c/gas mark 4 for about 10 - 15 minutes. 
For an even quicker, child-friendly, mini-pizza lunch idea, spoon a bit of the heated sauce over slices of bread (I will sometimes use a round cutter to create rounds of bread, add a bit of cheese, and tuck under a medium-hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

4. Jacket potato

This makes a nice lunch-time meal, or a simple mid-week evening meal

You will need:
  • Baking potato, one per person
  • Favourite cheese, optional

  • Bake whole potatoes in the oven or microwave until soft inside
  • Spoon over some of the heated sauce, and sprinke with a bit of cheese if desired. 
  • Serve with a fresh salad


5. Omelette

This works equally well for any meal in the day.

You will need:
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Whisk 2- 3 eggs until frothy, add in a touch of milk if desired
  • Melt butter in a skillet over a medium-high heat
  • Pour in the egg mixture and let cook untilnearly set all the way through
  • As the eggs cook, gently lift at the sides to allow more of the uncooked egg to run underneath.
  • When nearly cooked through, spoon some of the heated sauce over one half of the omelett, sprinkle over some of the cheese. 
  • Fold the other half of the egg over the sauce and serve immediately
  • You can have this as is for breakfast or brunch, or add a green salad for a complete lunch-time or evening meal.