Lockdown living has made us more strategic with our finances. If we can save a buck here and there, we should. Opting to make cheap-and-cheerful meals is a good strategy, such as a good, old-fashioned Bolognese.
If you need to make your Bolognese go even further, we have some tips and tricks for you to try.
1. GO TRADITIONAL
Aim for more sauce than mince in your Bolognese. According to TASTE food director, Abigail Donnelly, this is the more traditional way of making the dish. Adding less mince does not diminish the flavour of the dish at all. Mop it all up with lots of pasta and bread, and you’ll feed double the mouths for the same price.
2. VEGGIES ARE YOUR FRIENDS
We all know the trick of sneaking more vegetables in a Bolognese to get more food groups into the dish. But it can also help bulk up the sauce and stretch your Bolognese. Veggies such as carrots, peas and celery are good options to include. Since mince is arguably this most costly item in a Bolognese, you could skip it altogether and opt for a vegetarian version.
3. LOVELY LENTILS
Lentils are a great secret ingredient to add to Bolognese. They are unnoticeable in the sauce, as they cook down to almost nothing. If you find the lentils absorb some of the flavour of the sauce, add a dash of your favourite condiment to make up for it. TASTE’s head of digital, Katharine Pope, recommends Worcester sauce or miso paste.
4. A MEXICAN TWIST
Transform your Bolognese into a makeshift chilli con carne by adding canned beans into the mix. Baked beans, kidney beans, butter beans – any one of these pantry staples will help shake up this classic sauce and feed a lot more people for less.
5. ADD SOME OATS
We spotted this tip on a number of cooking forums online, and while we have yet to try it ourselves, people claim it does work. Adding oats when you cook mince helps to bulk it up. There is some debate about when to add the oats in the cooking process, but the most popular opinion is to add them while browning the mince before you add any liquid. You can also add breadcrumbs to the mince to bulk it up.
Now that you know how to stretch your Bolognese, try making these tasty variations.