Not sure if my recipe is authentic, but I love cooking bolognese sauce every once in a while. I enjoy the whole process, especially when the sauce starts to make this thick simmering, bubbling noise that makes you want to lick the wooden spoon just like one of the scenes in some rom-com film (a newly dating couple cooking together in one of their kitchens or something like that).
I usually make extra potion of bolognese sauce and freeze it. When I have time, I’ll turn it into my daughter’s favorite lasagna.
For the past weekend, we went for a short trip out of Tokyo. We came back to our apartment on Sunday evening, resulting in the usual problem of not having enough food in the fridge for our daughter’s bento the next day.
In such circumstances, frozen stock comes in handy. This morning I defrosted bolognese sauce I made the other day and mixed it with macaroni. I put a lot of veggies (e.g. onion, carrot, celery, garlic) in the sauce, so it’s quite nutritious (actually I put them in the blender so that they almost get pasty, and that gives an amazing flavour to the sauce). I had a leftover cucumber and egg in the fridge, so I whipped this up:
The frozen star-shaped steamed carrots made with cookie cutters are also quite handy. I always make them in bulk with my Le Creuset Steamer and store them in the freezer. It’s really a lifesaver on a day like this!
Menu: Macaroni bolognese (steamed carrot slices on top), Cucumber sticks, Boiled egg
Japanese Nashi for dessert (also leftover in the fridge)
Menu: Fusilli bolognese with grated Parimiggiano Reggiano on top, Steamed sweet potato, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato
Kiwi for dessert
The grated cheese on top of the pasta. By the request of my daughter’s class teacher, the graceful Miss N.
To be honest I prefer putting the cheese separately so that the amount of cheese can be adjusted as I eat. Like mother, like daughter, our four year old also likes to have a control over this kind of thing. At home she loves scooping the fine powdery cheese with a small spoon and sprinkle it as she shakes her entire body. And naturally, once for our daughter’s bento, I put the grated cheese in a plastic wrap, twisted the top and placed it on the side of the pasta, expecting her to enjoy sprinkling the cheese by herself as she ate. But according to Miss N, a disaster apparently happened that day. Our girl’s clumsy fingers bursted the plastic wrap open, spreading the whole grated parmiggiano around her neighborhood… Miss N told me that day as a matter of factly that the school, focusing highly on building up children’s self-confidence, believes that the cheese should be pre-sprinkled on top of the pasta going forward. As diligent as I am… voila! The cheese, is now on top of the pasta.
Menu: Macaroni bolognese with parmiggiano leggiano, Steamed broccoli, boiled green beans, Boiled egg
Kiwi & yogurt for dessert
Menu: macaroni bolognese, grated parmiggiano leggiano, boiled egg, broccoli & green beans
Melon for dessert
It’s not common to put pasta in our packed lunches here in Japan, but I did it anyway upon our daughter’s request.
I thought the grated cheese on the side was a great idea: our little girl can sprinkle it over the pasta at the time she eats so that the cheese remains fresh – but according to her teacher she spilled all the cheese on the table and her t-shirt, leaving a huge mess…😱