Baked Orzo Bolognese
Happy December! As the advent countdown begins, the children are high on chocolate and Christmas cheer, the adults are swimmy on Baileys and Christmas bonhomie and the dog is high on anything she can snaffle from under the table and an apparent liking for Michael Bublé
Our thoughts begin to turn to Christmas (ok they have been facing that direction for a while but now it is legal) and lists begin to spring up in unticked abundance. Tick off any green fingered friends right now , this second!!! Cast Iron herb markers!!! Hand painted herb labels made to last for many seasons. Not only are they pretty enough to adorn a Christmas table – I used them as name place settings and then our guests took home one each as a little gift (although I very nearly kept the lot) – but they will make any herb garden look beautiful too – even Mr McGregor would approve!
Rose has created the easiest chuck it in a pot delicious winter supper this week, she served it up straight away, I precooked the bolognese (meat and quorn options then added the Orzo and more liquid half an hour before serving to our guests. Either way it was ridiculously easy and totally yummy.
Baked Orzo Bolognese
● 750g beef mince
●1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
●125ml White wine (or chicken stock as a substitute)
●1 large carrot, finely diced
●1 large onion, finely diced
●1 stick of celery, finely diced
●150g chopped, destalked cavolo nero (black kale)
●1 tin chopped tomatoes (1.5 tins hot water from the kettle)
●500ml tomato passata
●Salt and black pepper
●1-2 tbsp brown sugar
●1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
●1 tbsp dried oregano
●2 Bay leaves
●2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
●Fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 220⁰ degrees Celsius.
●In a large oven-proof pan, on high heat, fry the beef mince in a little oil for around 10 minutes until brown and slightly caught.
●In the same pan, add celery, onion, and carrot. Sauté until softened (around five minutes).
●Add white wine, tomato puree, and garlic. Sizzle until the wine has cooked off (1 or two minutes).
●Throw in all the other ingredients EXCEPT for the basil, mozzarella, or Parmesan. Let it bubble away for 10 minutes with a lid on.
● Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. (Does it need a little more sugar? If so,add)
●After ten minutes, the orzo should be about half cooked.
●Tear up the mozzarella and evenly spread it across the top and fill all the Mozzarella-less gaps with a generous flurry of grated parmesan.
●Place the dish in the top of the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling on the top.
●To serve, adorn with fresh basil leaves and a simple rocket salad with lemon juice, olive oil,and more grated parmesan!
A huge thank you to Forge and Foundry for sponsoring this week’s Simple Winter Suppers, do click on the link and have a look at their website, it’s not just the best gardening gift ever, they have a gorgeous range of hand forged products and a fabulous salvage section. What a gorgeous British Company rich in heritage and a passion for preserving such a historical craft.