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3 ways to get your kids to eat their dinner

27 Aug 2016

If there’s a moratorium on spaghetti Bolognese in your house, here are three new, totally delicious ways to use up that batch you make every weekend.

Bolognese with gnocchi

Recipe by Abigail Donnelly 
Serves 6 
Preparation: 40 minutes 
Cooking: 2 1/2 hours

1 T butter 
1 T olive oil 
1 sprig sage
1 sprig rosemary
1 fresh bay leaf (if using dried, use 2 leaves) 
1 red onion, chopped 
250 g pork mince 
250 g beef mince 
3 leeks, finely chopped 
100 g black olives, pitted and chopped 
1 cup dry white wine 
2 cups tomato passata 
1 T tomato paste 
1 cup beef stock 
1 T sugar 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
160 g Parmesan, grated 

For the gnocchi: 
6 potatoes 
3 free-range egg yolks 
1 t sea salt 
180 g cake flour 

1 Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the sage and fry for 20 seconds. Remove from the pan and do the same with the rosemary and bay leaves.
2 Add the onion to the herb-infused oil and sauté until soft. Add the pork and beef mince and brown, then return the herbs to the pan.
3 Add the leeks, black olives and white wine and simmer. Once the wine has reduced by half, add the tomato passata, tomato paste, beef stock and sugar. 
4 Combine all the ingredients and season to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
5 To make the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 180°C. Roast the potatoes whole for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and push the flesh through a potato ricer or grate using the fine side of a grater. 
6 Place the potato into a bowl and add the egg yolks and salt. Sift in half the flour and knead to incorporate.
7 Slow sift in the remaining flour, a little at a time. Once all the flour has been added, the dough should be soft and spring back when pressed with your index finger. If the dough still feels wet, add 1 T flour at a time until it is no longer sticky.
8 Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then roll into thin sausages and cut into 1.5 cm pieces.
9 Blanch the gnocchi in the salted, boiling water for 3–4 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Remove using a slotted spoon and drizzle with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
10 To serve, spoon the Bolognese sauce over the gnocchi and top with grated Parmesan.

Cook’s note: When making gnocchi, use the least amount of flour as possible. The more flour you add, the heavier the gnocchi will be.

Beef meatball pizza

Recipe by Hannah Lewry
Serves 4
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

500 g Woolworths free-range beef mince
2 t ground cumin
3 T Italian parsley, chopped
1 t oregano
1 T balsamic glaze
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
50 g Woolworths dried breadcrumbs
1 free-range egg
2 t Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil
200 g cherry tomatoes
4 Woolworths pizza bases
300 g mozzarella, torn
100 g olives
fresh basil, for serving

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the mince, cumin, parsley, oregano, balsamic glaze, seasoning, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg and mustard and shape into bite-sized meatballs.
2 Fry the meatballs in the olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes until browned, adding the cherry tomatoes for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
3 Divide the mozzarella between the pizza bases and top with the panfried cherry tomatoes, meatballs and olives and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot with the basil, seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cook’s note: Make this pizza with Woolworths’ ready made meatballs if you’re pressed for time.

Sloppy joes on crusty French rolls
Recipe by Abigail Donnelly 

Serves 4 
Preparation: 30 minutes 
Cooking: 20 minutes 

2 T sunflower oil 
1 finely chopped onion 
2 finely chopped celery sticks 
1 finely chopped green or red pepper 
2 cloves crushed garlic
500 g free-range extra lean beef mince 
½ cup organic tomato sauce 
1 400 g can tomato purée 
1 T Worcestershire sauce 
1 T red wine or apple cider vinegar 
1 T brown sugar 
a pinch cayenne pepper 
1 t hot English mustard 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
4 crusty French bread rolls 

1 Gently cook the vegetables in the oil until soft but still pale. Stir in the garlic, then add the mince and increase the heat.
2 Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the mince, until the meat changes colour.
3 Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Reduce the heat, then simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender. Season to taste.
Serve the mince spooned over the split rolls.

Cook’s notes: Use soft hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted on one side.

Add some baby gem lettuce leaves or coarsely shredded cos lettuce leaves and sliced red onion. The mince is also good on big baked potatoes or with pasta.

For more kid-friendly mince recipes and specials, visit 

Read more on: kids  |  gnocchi  |  meatballs  |  beef  |  pizza  |  mince

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