What, Pasta Sauce again? No, it’s Beetroot Ragu.

When you batch cook and freeze it is very easy to end up with an endless supply of the same meal again and again. I remember the early years of allotmenteering – I nearly convinced myself that the bags of broad beans were breeding in the freezer when I was pulling the 50th bag! From my experiences, I quickly realised that the key to using up your supplies (and keeping buy-in from the rest of the family) is to be creative in making a range of meals. If you can freeze a base recipe that can be made into a novel meal you are onto a winner. No more complaints of ‘Oh no, not pasta sauce again!’.

This is not a full recipe as such, I wanted to share methods I use to make a base recipe for cooking and then turn this into a variety of dishes.

Basic Ragu Recipe: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, add tomatoes, courgettes and peppers and cook down into a rich sauce. Add herbs/spices if you wish – basil and majorum are nice. Difficult to give quantities here as they are not that important – just add what you have and cook down to reduce by at least half (slowly).

Once you have the ragu you could make:

*Vegetable bolognaise – just add some extra veg.
*Meat bolognaise – add ground or chopped meat of your choice.
*Cottage pie – veg or meat as above and topped with mashed potato (or a mixed root veg mash).
*Chilli – add beans (whatever you have, chilli, cumin powder and smoked paprika), meat if you wish.
*Lasagne – make bolognaise as above and then layer into pasta sheets with a white sauce and bake.
*Minestrone soup – add stock and then some tiny pasta shapes.

The list could be endless really.

For a simple supper I give you beetroot ragu sauce with spaghetti.

Simply add grated cooked beetroot (large amounts) to your ragu sauce and simmer. Tastes completely different! Very yummy!

Happy Cooking!