From our resident food blogger, Laura Ford...
Nothing beats a pasta bake on a cold night and this Bolognese is sure to be a hit with the whole family. It’s packed with plenty of vegetables that make it higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals while the hidden nuggets of bocconcini make for a gooey cheesy surprise. This sauce also freezes really well and any leftovers can be easily stored for a quick meal.
Ingredients: 3 tbsp. Australian extra virgin olive oil 1 red onion, finely chopped 2 sticks celery, finely chopped 2 carrots, grated 1 zucchini, grated 3 cloves garlic, crushed 400g mushrooms 500g beef mince 6 tbsp. tomato paste 3 x 400g tinned whole tomatoes 1 sprig rosemary 2 bay leaves 400g dried rigatoni pasta 180g tub bocconcini, drained 1 tbsp. basil leaves 1 cup mozzarella cheese 1 tbsp. mixed dried herbs
Method: 1. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat and add onion. Cook for 1 minute until onion is slightly softened. Add celery, carrot and zucchini and increase heat to medium-high and cook for a further 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are well cooked and soft. 2. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. 3. Add beef mince and cook for 5-7 minutes until beef is cooked.
4. Add tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary and bay leaves. Add the tinned tomatoes plus an additional cup of water and simmer until the sauce is thick and rich (about 20-30 minutes). Preheat the oven to 180C degrees. 5. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta by bringing a large pot of water to the boil and add 1⁄2 tsp salt. Add pasta to the water and cook until just cooked (but not too soft). Drain the pasta and mix through the Bolognese sauce.
6. Pour pasta into a casserole dish and distribute bocconcini evenly throughout. Cover with mozzarella cheese and top with mixed dried herbs. 7. Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 30-45 minutes until the cheese golden brown. 8. Allow to cool slightly in the tray for 5 -10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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