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Les Petits Chefs – Food Revolution Week 8 (and a winner!)

This week in cooking club, I told the boys I was going to teach them a recipe that everyone should know how to make.  They guessed things like “cake”, “cookies” and “pizza” but were not disappointed to find out that the secret dish was none other than Bolognese sauce!  I love Jamie’s version because it packs a great fibre punch through the addition of all the veggies and I added mushrooms as well since I love them in my pasta sauces.

Some fine cutting (and grating) techniques were, again, on display (though I had to cut the onions this week – boo!)…

And we had our first “OMG it’s gushing blood” incident with Liam’s finger!!!

We applied pressure with a paper towel and he was good to go with a bandaid, though he asked very politely if he could refrain from cutting any more, so I finished his carrots for him!  Liam took charge of the “stirring” which he proved to be a master of!

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Jamie Oliver’s Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients
Serves 4-6

2 slices of smoked bacon, preferably free-range or organic
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
(we added mushrooms – about a cup of finely sliced button mushrooms)
olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
1 lb good quality ground been, pork or (even better!) a mix of the two
2x 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh basil
4 oz parmesan cheese
1 lb dried spaghetti or penne

To make your sauce:
Finely slice the bacon.  Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about technique, just chop away until fine.
Place a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat.  Add 2 lugs of olive oil, your sliced bacon and the oregano and cook and stir until bacon is lightly golden.
Add the vegetables to the pan and stir every 30 seconds until softened and lightly coloured, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the ground meat and the canned tomatoes.  Fill both empty cans with water and add to the pan (we didn’t do this – it was watery enough already, and I had already drained the tomatoes).  Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Pick the basil leaves and add the stalks to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer with a lid on for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching.
Remove Bolognese sauce from the heat.  Finely grate the parmesan and stir half into the sauce.  Tear and stir in any larger basil leaved, keeping the smaller ones for sprinkling over before serving.
Mix up, have a taste, and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed – congratulations – you now have a beautiful Bolognese sauce!
At this stage, you can allow it to cool, bag it up and freeze it, or eat it straight away with pasta.

To cook your pasta and serve:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil.  Add your pasta and stir, following directions on the packet until al dente.
Drain the pasta and return to the pan.  Add half the Bolognese sauce to the cooked pasta and mix well, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen.
Divide between your plates and spoon the remaining sauce over the top. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the rest of the parmesan over top and scatter with the rest of the basil leaves – bellissima!

Again, this was SUCH an easy recipe that even with minor medical emergencies (!) we were still finished in about 40 minutes!

As you can see – it was a hit yet again!  And check out what these lucky guys packaged up and brought home!!! Even Henry who claims to not like carrots and mushrooms devoured his portion and gave it an enthusiastic 11/10.  Charles gobbled up his portion too and bestowed a 10/10, whilst Oliver declared it “fabulous”.  Liam, well he was a bit tired after all his adventures and still couldn’t think of an adjective to describe the food (I guess he was still mulling over the “gushing blood” incident!!).

And now to the winner of the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution cookbook giveaway…

Random Number Integer chose #2 Belinda@Zomppa who is a regular reader and commenter.  Congratulations – I will be in touch with you soon for your mailing address so we can get you the Food Revolution cookbook as soon as possible!

Thanks again to the folks at YC Media for offering this book as a giveaway on the occasion of my blog birthday!

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40 Responses to Les Petits Chefs – Food Revolution Week 8 (and a winner!)

  1. Megan Gordon May 19, 2010 at 18:21 #

    Oh gosh…I’m actually shocked there haven’t been more gushing blood incidents. I don’t know that I’d have the patience to take these little guys on (I think I might say that each and every time I comment lately…I must really mean it! In admiration of you!)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:09 #

      Yeah me too re: expecting more injuries. They’re a pretty accomplished little bunch and I really enjoy my time with them! Actually no patience required for this gig! they’re a pleasure to teach!

  2. Belinda @zomppa May 19, 2010 at 18:25 #

    WHOA! I was just enjoying the photos and then got to my name. THANK YOU! What a lovely surprise. But I will say…those little chefs have pretty great knife skills.

  3. Cat May 19, 2010 at 20:41 #

    ooh, poor liam! sounds like he took it in stride – a good thing to learn in the kitchen when working with knives, i guess. way to go on teaching them to chiffonade their basil, by the way. )

  4. Dawn@CocinaSavant May 19, 2010 at 21:36 #

    Poor Liam! Everyone has their share of knife mishaps though, every week on top chef or hell’s kitchen, maybe it just means he will be a future star chef ! Looks like a ton of fun despite the ancident. Congrats again on your blog b’day.

  5. bunkycooks May 20, 2010 at 08:20 #

    Congrats to Belinda! I am glad that Liam didn’t let a little cut get in his way of perhaps being a future chef! ;)

  6. Suzie the Foodie May 20, 2010 at 08:45 #

    Congratulations Belinda! Lucky you!

    Sorry to hear there was a kitchen casualty, hope that didn’t put him off the idea of cooking. Nice to know there are kids learning how to cook, such an important life skill!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:07 #

      Thanks Suzie! I think it’s important that the boys realise that little cuts and scrapes are part of cooking!

  7. Daydreamer Desserts May 20, 2010 at 09:42 #

    What a great recipe to teach the boys and I’m impressed to hear it only took 40 minutes. Sorry to hear about Liam’s finger, sounds like he was a trooper though. :)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:06 #

      I know, right – 40 minutes from start to finish with 9 year olds cooking is really pretty impressive!

  8. The Cilantropist May 20, 2010 at 10:43 #

    Oh look at all those little hands, so busy at work! :) Poor guy with the slight accident, but I am sure he will live to cook another day. Beautiful dish, and I agree that veggies in the sauce makes it just so much healthier and tastier!

  9. Kristi Rimkus May 20, 2010 at 10:50 #

    Congratulations! I’m so impressed with your little chefs. The pasta looks delicious.

  10. sippitysup May 20, 2010 at 11:13 #

    You and Jamie Oliver are doing a great thing. Kids need to know where food comes from. ‘Cuz it doesn’t come from a drive-thru! The little injury only supports the connection all will be well.GREG

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:05 #

      Thanks Greg! I agree – it’s so important for the boys to know where food comes from! And injuries are part of the learning process!

  11. The Housewife May 20, 2010 at 12:55 #

    It’s so great that the kids are so interested and involved. This is a big step in getting them to eat healthy!

  12. 5 Star Foodie May 20, 2010 at 13:14 #

    Another great project for the kids! Pasta Bolognese looks delicious!

  13. Kate at Serendipity May 20, 2010 at 15:57 #

    Tell Liam that he’s officially now a chef.

    This looks wonderful! When I learned to make Bolognese sauce in cooking school, we put lots of veggies in it. They were chopped so finely that they looked like part of the meat. I always thought that would be a good way to get veggie-hating kids to eat their veggies–hide them in the Bolognese sauce!

    I love what you’re doing with these kids. Keep it up, ok?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:04 #

      Yeah – we talked about cutting the veggies very finely and for the most part, the boys did a great job at that! And thanks!

  14. Stella May 20, 2010 at 17:16 #

    Awe, cut finger…hope Liam is not kitchen tramatized.
    This looks wonderful! I need to get offline, as I’m too hungry to be looking at this stuff…

  15. penny aka jeroxie May 20, 2010 at 21:24 #

    Oh dear! but we all have mishaps in the kitchen. good to start early!

  16. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 20, 2010 at 21:40 #

    Cut fingers are sort of a badge of honor in the kitchen, right? Poor Liam!

    The bolognese looks fantastic, and I agree that it is a recipe that everyone should be able to make! Yum :)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:03 #

      Liam was quite proud of his “work injury” that’s for sure! And yes, it’s such a great recipe – so versatile!

  17. Lauren @ Healthy Delicious May 21, 2010 at 16:52 #

    I’m not a huge fan of bolognese, but i really like how this looks with all the veggies added in!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:02 #

      It was a great flavour too – you could really barely tell there were veggies in there – which is important to the boys!

  18. Conor @ HoldtheBeef May 22, 2010 at 00:55 #

    Oh Liam, you poor thing, but these things do happen in kitchen occasionally! It’s probably a good thing for him to experience it under such good supervision :)

    A good bolognese is indeed an essential part of someone’s recipe repertoir, perfect to make ginormous pots of and stick in the freezer for lazy nights or to make other stuff with.

    Did you have cartoon character bandaids?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 23, 2010 at 18:01 #

      Sadly no we did not have cartoon character bandaids and Liam was a brave trooper with his injury! And yes, we talked about using the sauce for other dishes – the boys liked that idea!

  19. Scatteredmom May 24, 2010 at 12:00 #

    Looks delicious! I chopped my finger a few weeks ago. :) You can tell Liam it’s “a chef thing”, lolol!

    We’ve been motoring along through our book too-last week we made three recipes from it!

    Thanks for being part of Food Revolution Fridays! I always love seeing what you guys cook.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 25, 2010 at 17:34 #

      The book is pretty darned amazing, that’s for sure – no bad recipes!!! And yes, Liam is proud of his chef injury! :-D

  20. Casey Angelova May 26, 2010 at 02:59 #

    Sometimes when a bolognese is so good, you don’t even need the pasta. Congratulations to you little chefs. They did amazing!

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