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Pappardelle bolognese with lots of hidden vegetables - perfect for fussy kids

Pappardelle Bolognese with lot of veggies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic ,or use paste
  • 1 large handful parsley ,chopped
  • 1 cup red wine ,or use water
  • 500 grams beef mince ,not super lean
  • 700 ml tomato passata
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large springs of thyme
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • pappardelle and parmesan to serve


  • Add oil to a large pot over high heat.
    Using a food processor, finely chop your carrots, zucchini, celery, and onion individually and add to the pot (alternatively grate or chop).  Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until you have some colour on your veggies.
  • Once your veggies have some nice colour, add garlic and parsley and stir for one minute.  Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to lift up any baked on bits. Reduce by half.
  • Add minced beef and cook until starting to brown. Add passata, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme and 1 cup of water.  Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add more water as required. 
  • Add lemon zest 30 minutes before removing from the heat. 
  • Serve with pappardelle and garnish with parmesan. Freeze any leftover for 3 months. 


If you don't have a food processor, grate your veggies for them to be hidden from fussy children.  Otherwise finely chop.