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Toddler Friendly Bolognese

My “Easy Peasy Fish Pie” was such a hit with you guys, I decided to add another recipe to the blog. Might just turn into a regular thing actually. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Pasta is one of the easiest and budget friendly dishes to make and it’s diverse enough for the whole family to enjoy together. Cooking with a toddler is such a tough thing to do when there’s boiling water, hot oil and knives all over the place. Us parents can’t spend too much time in the kitchen with a curious toddler walking about so being able to now cook 1 dish for the whole family, cuts that cooking time in the kitchen down by half!

Ingredients list

  • Spaghetti pasta
  • Minced beef
  • Half red onion (diced)
  • Half carrot (diced)
  • Half courgette (diced)
  • Canned chopped tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Baby beef stock cube/beef gravy granules (optional)
  • Worcester sauce (optional)
  • Smoked paprika (optional)
  • Salt/pepper (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese/cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a teaspoon of olive oil into the water and a pinch of salt. (The olive oil helps to keep the pasta from sticking to each other when cooking.) During the time you’re waiting for the water to boil, chop your vegetables ready to cook. By the time you’ve finished chopping, the water should be close to boiling. Add the pasta when the water has reached boiling. (Add salt to the water or avoid any if sharing the dish with your little one under 12 months old.)
  2. Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan and cook the diced red onions. When you can smell the onions add the minced beef. Be sure to separate the beef with your spatula but also don’t move the meat too much as you want it to cook thoroughly.
  3. When the meat is completely cooked, pour out any excess fat. Put it back on the heat and add the diced carrots. Once the carrots have been mixed in with the meat, pour in the canned chopped tomatoes and stir everything together. (Add salt/pepper to your liking or avoid any if sharing the dish with your little one under 12 months old.)
  4. (Do this step to your liking or avoid it if sharing the dish with your little one under 12 months old.) If you’re like me and don’t like your sauce too tomatoey, now is the time to add some water and the baby beef stock cube/beef gravy granules to taste. Once the sauce begins to bubble, add half a teaspoon of smoked paprika and 4/5 drops of Worcester sauce. Add the diced courgette and stir it together. Leave the sauce to simmer on a low heat for a further 3-5 minutes stiring occasionaly.
  5. Check on your pasta and ensure it’s not over cooked. When it’s cooked to your liking, scoop out your portion with a slotted spoon or tongs into a colander without pouring out the water and leave some pasta in the water for your toddler. Cook your toddlers pasta for a further 2-3 minutes to ensure it’s nice and soft for them.
  6. When your courgettes have cooked through in the sauce, it’s time to turn the heat off the sauce. Empty your toddlers pasta into a separate bowl and using clean scissors (preferably ones that have been dedicated just for chopping your toddlers food), chop the spaghetti strings into small pieces.
  7. Mix the pasta with the sauce and top it with grated parmesan/cheddar cheese. Use both if you’re a cheese lover like me. πŸ˜‹

Now watch it all disappear as your toddler and family enjoy this recipe. Delicious. Let me know how you get on and if it was a winner on your dinner table too.

*If you’re wondering what I do with the other half of the red onion, carrot and courgette, you can cut the remainder veggies into long strips and roast them with a little olive oil, turning it into a side dish for your toddler to have with some store bought chicken goujons/nuggets. It’s great finger foods for them to feed themselves. Cooking 2 meals from 1 piece of vegetable is budget friendly, stops us from wasting food, ensures our little ones get their 5 a day and keeps them from being bored of the same taste for 2+ meals in a row.

Mama T

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