I received a lovely email the other week from the people at Little Dish – they wanted to send me a copy of the Little Dish favourites cookbook! Who was I to say no. The book dropped onto my doorstep just a few days later.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never really bought a child specific cookbook before (barring the Annabel Karmel Baby Foods book bought as a nervous first time mum). I made lots of homemade fruit and vegetable puree’s for my babies (I even wrote a few posts about weaning and first foods) but from a very early age they were eating what hubby and I were, albeit in pureed and mashed form until their teeth came through. I didn’t see the point in faffing with separate meals and as long as I was careful with the amount of salt I used there was no reason to cook and eat differently.
I opened the book with a bit of scepticism but was pleased to discover the book was full of ‘proper’ family meals, meals that could actually feed a family of 4 or 5 (i.e. not weeny portions) as well as the obligatory chapter on puree’s and mashes for weaning.
I plucked to try the ‘Proper Bolognese’ first and I’m pleased to report it was a resounding success. It fed 2 adults and 2 toddlers with enough leftovers to make a Bolognese pasta bake (again to feed the 4 of us) the next day. I do admit to adding a pinch of sea salt, which wasn’t included in the original recipe, as well as a pinch of sugar to counteract the acidity of the chopped tomatoes but other than that, unusually for me I kept to the recipe.
I’d certainly recommend the book to parents who aren’t confident in the kitchen as the recipes are easy to follow and can be enjoyed by the whole family, not just the kids.
LITTLE DISH PROPER BOLOGNESE
| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 3 Hours | Total Time: 3 Hours + |
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 Carrot, chopped
- 1 TBSP Dried Mixed Herbs
- 500g Lean Minced Beef
- 100g Mushrooms, sliced
- 240ml Whole Milk
- 240ml White Wine
- 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
- Freshly ground pepper
- Step 1: Heat oil in a large pan and add garlic, onion, carrot, mixed herbs and saute until softened.
- Step 2: Add the minced beef and cook for 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add mushrooms and stir well.
- Step 3: Add the milk, bring to boil then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains. Add the wine and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Step 4; Add the tomatoes, bring back to boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer just barely for 3 hours. Season to taste.