A quick pasta that is also one of the all-time favourite recipes, this bolognese is made with aubergine (or eggplant, as it is also known) and is a great way to introduce baby to the vegetable. Whilst in many parts of the world, bolognese sauce is often paired with spaghetti to make 'spaghetti bolognese', this is not traditionally the way it has been served in Italy.
Traditional bolognese sauce is complex, involving a variety of slow cooking techniques and added ingredients. Outside of Italy, this sauce has been simplified to become a tomato-based sauce including mince meat.
Bolognese is a quick pasta sauce to make and can be traced back to recipes using a meat-based sauce from the 18th century in Imola, near Bologna, Italy. In Italy, the sauce is known as ragu alla bolognese, or simply as ragu. It is customarily served with tagliatelle pasta or used to prepare lasagne.
Fortunately, the recipe below is based on the simplified version of the sauce, and whilst not traditional, it is no less tasty! Pasta stars or mini pasta shells are good shapes to use for babies and younger toddlers, whilst older toddlers may like spaghetti, or even tagliatelle, that has been cut to shorter lengths for easier eating.
This recipe yields 7-8 servings and is suitable for freezing.
100g onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Oil for cooking
250g lean minced beef
1 Tbsp tomato puree
215g tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1/4 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 Tbsp plain flour
225ml chicken stock
170g aubergine (eggplant)
125g pasta shapes