Tips for leftover bolognese

Drygast Drygast
Icon 2022-04-25

Some tips on how to use that extra amount of bolognese.

When I make bolognese, it tends to be quite a large amount and I rarely eat everything in one go. Normally, I cook a larger amount just to be able to save it as bolognese is the perfect food to freeze and have available for a quick meal. But sometimes it might be a little boring to just heat up and cook spaghetti, so here are some tips on how to use that leftover bolognese.

Fry in butter :)

OK, so the first tip is really just a confirmation that bolognese is excellent to freeze. I often freeze leftover bolognese in portion packs so that it is quick and easy to just heat up and serve with freshly cooked pasta. Pasta is not very good to freeze so I always cook it new. But, if you want the luxury of it even more, you can do as I remember my grandmother did - take the ready-cooked pasta and bolognese, throw it in a frying pan and fry everything in butter until most of the liquid is gone! Yes, that was her way of heating everything - fry in butter. It's actually not bad at all and something I do sometimes. :)

Lasagne

... Lasagne

One of the things I usually use saved bolognese for is lasagna. In my eyes, it is a fantastic way to use the leftovers because you have already done most of the work and just have to throw together the remaining ingredients and you have a fantastic meal without much work or time spent in the kitchen.

I do not add anything extra to the bolognese itself as it is good as it is, but of course there are some more ingredients such as. lasagne plates, cheese, milk/creme fraiche and more. I also happen to have an oven dish that is perfect in size for a lasagne plate, so I often make a smaller lasagne for myself if I want the luxury of it.

I have a recipe for lasagne that uses bolognese as the main ingredient, which can found here.

Bake in oven

... Baked bolognese and penne

Another way to take care of a little extra bolognese is to simply bake it together with some pasta in the oven. With a generous amount of cheese on top that melts, it becomes a wonderfully decadent dish that is certainly appreciated by most people.

Simply boil a small amount of pasta (eg penne). Then mix the pasta with bolognese, heat up quickly and then pour this into a frying pan or ovenproof dish. Top with grated cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and has a good color. I use the oven grill the last few minutes if the cheese needs a little more color.

When I make this, I usually also mix in a small amount of cream for the luxury of it. So one or 2 tablespoons of cream per serving when I heat up the bolognese and pasta before it goes into the oven.

Chili con carne

... Chili con carne

An easy way to turn the dish into something completely different is to add some beans and then you have a simple chili con carne. But there is still some difference in the flavors so I would like to add some chipotle paste, some BBQ sauce, a strong chili of some kind and possibly a small piece of chocolate and then boil everything a little quickly to turn the leftovers into something completely different .

Then just serve the chili with some rice, salad, tortillas and lime. Of course, you can let some cheese melt over the chili as well.

I Have a recipe for chili con carne that can be found here. Should there now be leftovers of this dish as well (since you add some ingredients), it is excellent to freeze to heat up later.

Quesadillas

... Quesadillas

To continue on the Mexican track, you can also cook some quick quesadillas.

Simply take a little bolognese on a tortilla (not much is needed) and then add a good amount of cheese. Place another tortilla on top. Heat the whole package in a pan on the stove until the cheese has melted and the tortilla has taken on a little color, turn once.

It´s really easy to make and gets really good as a quick snack.

Stuffed peppers

... Stuffed peppers

One thing I remember from my childhood that for some reason I have not done lately is stuffed peppers. So it was fun to get acquainted with this dish again.

There are of course a few different ways to cook these, but now that I have the finished filling, this is how I did it: Halve the peppers and clean out the kernels - bake in the oven (200°C, 25 minutes) until the pepper halves start to soften. Meanwhile, mix bolognese with ready-cooked rice. Pour the mixture into the soft pepper halves and push softly so that the mixtrue fills in as much as possible. Add a little grated cheese and heat in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Yes, it is not more difficult than that. Serve as is with a simple salad. I have seen that many people choose to cut a lid on top of the peppers, but I prefer to cut them in two halves instead. That way you get more filling in relation to peppers and that also means more cheese. :)

Shepards pie

... Shepards pie

OK, just like many of the other recipes here, this is not a 100% authentic dish, but more an approximate of the original and specifically made to make use of leftover bolognese. One should e.g. use minced lamb for a real shepards pie...

However, I think you get close enough to the original if you use the bolognese recipe I have and add Worcestershire sauce and tabasco. I then make a simple blanket of mashed potatoes using 500g potatoes, 25g butter, a little milk, salt, black pepper and 100g grated cheddar (this is enough for a smaller oven dish for about 2 servings). Just to take the picture, I piped the mashed potatoes, but you could just as well smear it over bolognese in an ovenproof dish and then cook in the oven, 225°C for 20-25 minutes until the mashed potatoes has a nice color.

Pizza

... Pizza bolognese

Making pizza at home can perhaps be considered a bit difficult and time consuming and I must say that it is true. There are shortcuts such as ready-made pizza dough and the like, but if you invest some time you can get really good results at home. Even if a pizza oven gives even better results, I think that a regular home oven combined with a pizza steel gives good enough results to challenge the pizzeria.

I have offered pizza a few times and tried a number of different varieties, but the one that has received the best rating so far is actually pizza bolognese. It is made on Neapolitan pizza dough, simple tomato sauce (passed tomatoes and salt), grated cheese, a few dollops of bolognese and finally topped with fresh basil.

If the idea of makeing your own pizza sounds appealing, I have a recipe for Neapolitan pizza dough and a short article which might help a little. Personally, I think it has been really fun to experiment with your own pizza and with a little practice it will be very good results.