While we’d love to spend most chilly winter days holed up in the kitchen, cooking up our favorite long-simmered comfort foods, unfortunately we have other things we often need to tend to, like work, kids, binge-watching Netflix, and getting sucked in to reading the comments section on the random articles we find ourselves scrolling through online (always an ill-advised hobby). But Giada De Laurentiis just shared a tasty tip for winter weeknight cooking. Prepare a big batch of bolognese on the weekend, then use it all week to make your quick meals taste like they’ve got hours of work behind them. If you’re not sure how to use up a big pot of bolognese other than by tossing it with pasta, not to worry – De Laurentiis has a few ideas for you.
First though, you can tackle Sunday night’s supper by tossing your freshly made bolognese with your favorite sturdy pasta, or by using it as the sauce to make a hearty lasagna.
Next up, the simplest ways to eat leftover bolognese. De Laurentiis recommends stuffing a baked potato with the meat sauce, then topping it with cheese. You can also just spoon hot bolognese over some warm rolls for Sloppy Joe’s that are way tastier than anything you can get out of a can (though we can’t be the only ones with a soft spot for the canned Manwich of our youth).
You can also simply ladle the bolognese over hot rice, or swirl it into cheesy risotto or creamy polenta.
If you’re willing to do slightly more work, stuffed bell peppers could be the weeknight meal you’re looking for. De Laurentiis recommends mixing the leftover bolognese with rice, stuffing it into bell peppers, topping them with cheese, and baking them until the peppers are tender.
And don’t forget pizza night! Storebought pizza dough is the perfect vehicle for leftover bolognese. Add cheese and your favorite toppings for a satisfying meal the whole family will love.
Pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, Sloppy Joe’s, stuffed peppers, and pizza – that’s seven days of bolognese. Just a little bit of meal prep on the weekends can deliver you an entire week of deeply flavorful meals, and no one will even guess that the secret was making your bolognese ahead of time.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty: