Over the holidays I came up with a fresh list of meals to include in my weekly meal plans. Finding inspiration on busy weekdays is not always manageable, so in a rare moment of clarity I leafed through my favourite food cuttings and jotted down some family supper ideas.
I’ll be slowly working my way through them this autumn and aim to share most of them here on the blog. First up is a slightly different spin on the classic bolognese mince.
To cater for everyone in our family – Matthew the veggie and me trying to be healthy – I use quorn mince as a matter of course now. I usually serve it up with pasta, jacket potatoes or even oven chips. I’ll make a large batch and freeze the leftovers in small portions that can be defrosted in minutes for a swift supper.
But this time i’m topping it with crispy filo pastry. Despite the fact that it’s a healthier option, the boys love it so it’s a win win. I bulked the meal out for the boys by pairing it with garlic bread and extra vegetables – they’d just got back from swimming and had ferocious appetites.
Sophisticated this aint – family fodder it is!
Filo topped veggie bolognese bake
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for coating filo pastry
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp dried sage
1 x 350g packet quorn mince (or equivalent – supermarkets like Sainsburys seem to be getting better at meat-free stuff)
3-4 sheets of filo pastry
1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan and then gently cook the onions and carrots for 5 minutes, stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, washing out the tin with some hot water. Stir in the stock cube, dried sage and bayleaves and cover and simmmer for around 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and if you think it needs it add a little salt and sugar to get the balance right.
3. Stir through the mince and then remove from the heat. You can either do this part of the recipe in advance and construct your final dish later, or carry on if you’re ready to eat!
4. Take out the bay leaves and pour into a baking dish. Unroll the filo pastry and scrunch each sheet and place on top of the layer of bolognese until it forms a satisfyingly tangled topping. Brush with olive oil and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.
Serve with a simple green salad or with vegetables and extra carbs like jacket spuds/garlic bread if you’re feeding burly appetites.
tip: use up the ends of old ketchup bottles and marmite jars to add some extra flavour to the sauce. Slosh them out with a splash or two of boiling water straight into your pan of bolognese.