BEEF BOLOGNESE PASTA BAKE

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"When asked world-wide what makes Canadian beef great, people told us it is Canada itself"

        ~ CanadaBeef.CA

Canada is “The World’s Perfect Place for Raising Beef” and this is supported by all that makes Canada unique: in the land, hardworking people, good ethics and governance and sustainable practices.

As a home cook and as a butcher I am constantly reminded just how good Canadian Beef is.  Beef is a regular star in many of the dishes I cook for my family and I was delighted to be invited to share a favourite recipe as part of ThinkBeef.ca 

The challenge was to create a recipe using Canada Beef's Big Batch Beef Recipe.  The Big Batch Beef recipe is perfect for busy families.  Cooking up 4lb of lean ground beef to then split into 4 portions and freeze for fast dishes throughout the week is a timesaving dream.  Taco's in a hurry, ground beef on that pizza or just creating a delicious Bolognese sauce in minutes.  Having cooked ground beef as a backup in the freezer is a lifesaver when life gets busy.  So many uses and the family never complain about any of them!
Using the Big Batch Beef recipe I decided to create a Pasta Bake, similar to a lasagne but speedier with not as many layers needed!  First of I created the Bolognese sauce, which is pretty perfect on it's own tossed through pasta;
*BIG BATCH BEEF BOLOGNESE
WHAT YOU NEED
500g BIG BATCH BEEF
1 x 796ml can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon black pepper and salt to taste

WHAT TO DO
Place the 500g BIG BATCH BEEF into a saucepan with the crushed tomatoes, oregano, pepper, chilli and balsamic vinegar. Place on a medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season. 

Now I get to share this super cool Magic Cheese Sauce!  No roux needed to create this cheesy sauce that would be great for cauliflower cheese or Mac & Cheese too;

*MAGIC CHEESE SAUCE
WHAT YOU NEED
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
150g cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream/marscapone or cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon black or white pepper

WHAT YOU DO
Heat the stock in a pan.  Add the cornstarch to the grated cheese and mix together with a fork.  Once the stock is bubbling add the cheese and stir.  Add the cream and pepper and keep stirring over a gentle heat till everything it thickened.  Taste and season. 
Now to assemble the pasta bake;
BEEF BOLOGNESE PASTA BAKE
WHAT YOU NEED
400g large pasta shells or large rigatoni
50g cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
* Big Batch Beef Bolognese (see above)
* Magic Cheese Sauce (see above)

WHAT TO DO
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 2 minutes under the time it says on the packet.  Save a little of the pasta cooking water towards the end of the cook time.  Drain the pasta and mix with the pasta water.  (This starchy water helps season the pasta and makes the sauce stick).  

Stir some of the Bolognese sauce into the pasta.  Put the rest of the Bolognese sauce into the bottom of a baking/casserole dish.  Tip the sauced pasta on top.  Drizzle over the magic cheese sauce.  Sprinkle the cheddar & parmesan cheese over. 

Bake for 20- 25 minutes till bubbling and golden brown on the top.  
You can make this in advance and chill to cook later.  It will need a little extra cooking time to get it golden and bubbly! 

If you have never batch cooked beef, I strongly recommend you give it a try.  It makes a busy week of feeding the family a whole lot faster and tastier! 


www.ThinkBeef.ca/real

ThinkBeef.ca is dedicated to spreading the word about the taste, nutrition and goodness of beef
This is a paid post in partnership with Canada Beef. 


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