- Put a large, deep casserole pan on a medium-high heat. Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, finely slice the pancetta and put it all in the pan with 3 tbsp olive oil, stirring regularly until lightly golden. Stir in the mince, breaking it up with your spoon, and let it brown for 15 mins, stirring regularly. Peel, finely chop and add the garlic along with the chopped mixed veg, season with sea salt and black pepper, and cook for another 15 mins, still stirring regularly.
- Stir in the balsamic, cook away, then add the lentils, juice and all. Add the tomatoes, scrunching them in through clean hands, then half-fill each of the 4 tins with water, swirl around and pour into the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a medium-low heat for 2 hrs or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season to perfection and enjoy as is, batching up extra portions to stash in the fridge or freezer for future meals.
Sloppy Joe: Reheat some of the Bolognese until piping hot, then pile it into a soft toasted bun and add a grating of cheese, such as Gruyère. You could even pop it under the grill to melt the cheese, I like it with a few gherkins on the side.
Cottage pie: Boil chunks of peeled potato and sweet potato in a shallow casserole pan until soft. Drain and mash well with a little olive oil or butter; season. Top Bolognese with the mash and bake until golden and cooked through.
Pappardelle Bolognese: In a frying pan on a high heat, mix a portion of Bolognese with 300ml of boiling kettle water. Cut 125g of fresh lasagne sheets lengthways into 2cm strips, submerge in the Bolognese and cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Serve with Parmesan.
Bolognese pasta bake: Jazz up leftover cooked pasta – think spaghetti, farfalle, penne, whatever you’ve got – by mixing with Bolognese in a roasting tray. Tear over mozzarella, add a grating of Parmesan, then bake until golden, bubbling and cooked through.
See more 50/50 bolognese serving suggestions.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 2 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
See more Jamie Oliver recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.
Credit: ONE by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Michael Joseph © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2022 ONE). Photography: © David Loftus, 2022; © Richard Clatworthy, 2022