University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

Twitter: @EatRainbowLove
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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Bolognese bake

 (I only took one photo when out of the oven - apologies!)
Super easy, delicious food that everyone will love. A twist on a good old spag bol - take an exciting, different pasta like conchiglioni (large pasta shells) and bake with mozzarella and fresh basil!

Serves 4
- 450g lean beef mince
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 200g mushrooms, sliced
- jar of good pasta sauce (I used Sacla with whole tomatoes in - see pic below)
- glug of balsamic vinegar
- seasoning
- 350g conchiglioni (or pasta of your choice)
- 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced
- handful of fresh basil
- handful of cheddar cheese, grated

1. For the bolognese part, brown the mince in a large pan then add the garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to packet instructions.
3. When the mince mixture is cooked through, add the sauce, balsamic vinegar and seasoning. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
5. When the pasta is cooked, drain and mix with the bolognese mixture.
6. Pour everything into a baking dish and top with the slices of mozzarella and torn basil leaves. Don't forget to grate some cheddar on top too.
7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Cottage pie

Perfect comfort food! Home cooking doesn't get much better than a delicious cottage pie fresh and hot from the oven. The rich meat filling (with lots of hidden vegetables) with the buttery, crispy cheese topped mash will satisfy everyone.

Serves 2-4
(We eat quite big portions so adapt this accordingly - we saved one portion of mince mixture to freeze - if you were using all the mince then do slightly more mashed potato!)
- olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 500g lean beef mince
- 150g mushrooms, sliced
- dried mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- generous dash of Worcester sauce (Lea & Perrins)
- generous glug of red wine
- 450ml beef stock
- 600g potatoes, chopped
- dash of milk
- large knob of butter
- cheddar cheese

1. Heat some olive oil in a large pan, then add the onions and carrots, and soften for a few minutes
2. Add the mince to the mixture and cook until browned, stirring to break up the meat.
3. Add the mushrooms and sprinkling of dried herbs, and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the tomato purée, Worcester sauce and the red wine.
5. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about half an hour, or until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
6. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees, and boil the potatoes in salted water.
7. When the potatoes are done (after about 20 minutes), drain and return to the pan. Add the milk and butter and mash until smooth and creamy.
8. When the mince filling is ready, pour into a circular baking dish, and top with the mashed potato, smoothing with a fork. Top with a lot of grated cheddar!
9. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling, and the top golden brown. Serve straight away with some green veg! 

Enjoy :)