What baby doesn’t like pasta? And what baby doesn’t like Baby Bolognese sauce?! The list of ingredients in this recipe might seem a bit long but they should already be staples in your pantry (so there is no need to rush off to the grocery store if you want to prepare this sauce in a hurry!).
The only thing you might not have is San Marzano tomatoes…you could use any diced canned tomato but I prefer San Marzano. They are so much sweeter and tastier than other canned tomatoes. Try them for yourself and see if you (and baby!) notice the difference!
This makes enough sauce for a few meals and you can store the rest in the freezer (or double the recipe and make yourself a plate of pasta while you’re at it!) The only difference between this version and the “adult” version is that I add salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to my portion.
(Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 small red onion
1/2 celery stalk
1/2 medium carrot, peeled
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms (optional)
1 garlic clove, halved
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 can diced San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped (about 3-4 large leaves)
10 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) lean ground beef
Finely chop onion, celery and carrot or blend them in a small food processor if you prer a not-so chunky sauce .
Finely chop mushrooms. *TIP: I avoid rinsing mushrooms with water because they tend to hold in extra moisture. Instead, I peel the outer “skin” of the mushrooms (from the inside once the stem is removed).
Heat oil in medium saucepan for about 1 minute on medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5-7 minutes or until translucent.
Add garlic, ground beef, thyme, and oregano. (I like to add 1/2 of the basil now and save the rest to add to the cooked sauce fono another depth of flavour.)
Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
*TIP: To avoid any large chunks in the sauce “chop” the ground beef with a spatula or wooden spoon during the cooking process so as to break it apart as much as possible. It is much easier to break apart before it is cooked.
Add diced tomatoes and cook on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and add remaining basil. Don’t forget to remove the chunks of garlic (unless you’ve opted for chopping the garlic finely!)
I always remove the garlic…if you’ve read my blog post, “To Eat Garlic or Not to Eat Garlic: That is the Question” , you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of it! 😉
Note: The liquid in the sauce will continue to evaporate and thicken after removing from the heat. (If it doesn’t you could always put it back on the burner and cook for a few more minutes until it thickens.) It should end up looking like this:
Serve with pasta of choice and garnish with a generous helping of freshly grated Parmesan.
Store leftovers in baby cubes or an ice cube tray (Once frozen, remove cubes from the tray and store in a zip-lock freezer bag). *One 2oz baby cube should be enough for two portions of pasta.