Marla Smart

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Douglas County Moms: This Bolognese is worth the shopping and chopping

I love complicated recipes. It’s fun to use all the different ingredients to create a beautiful dish your family will love.

However, it can be a bit hard on the pocketbook. It’s also a little hard for me to accomplish now that I work full time. What I’ve found is that a simple dish that can be easily thrown together, or made in advance, is the key to a successful weeknight meal for my bunch.

One such dish is pasta. Can’t almost everyone say that? Pasta is so simple to prepare and serve. When I first began cooking (it seems like eons ago), I simply prepared pasta and poured heated, canned spaghetti sauce over the top.

I’m not going to get into the great pasta and sauce debate here. You know the one — to serve the dish with the sauce poured on top, or stir it all together before dishing it up. Oh yes, that is a debate at my house!

Over the years, I progressed a little, adding cooked meat (ground beef or sausage) to the sauce. I even added extra veggies on occasion, as I tried to help us eat healthier.

Through all this process, my family has become pasta snobs. I have found a recipe for a Bolognese that everyone adores. It has all the ingredients I want, and I even feel like I’m serving something different enough to be counted as creative.

It has also become a popular dish to share with extended family and friends who visit. But the greatest thing is, it’s so quick and easy, I can double or even triple the recipe and freeze some for future use. In fact, I usually add it to my freezer meal menu as I plan.

The recipe comes from the “Everyday Italian” cookbook written by Giada De Laurentiis. It’s called Simple Bolognese. I’ve served it over all kinds of pasta, rice and even enjoy it by itself, if I’m watching my carbs. It’s that good.

As with every recipe, you might want to adjust it to fit the needs of your picky eaters, or add different vegetables that you have on hand. I’ve made it as the recipe states, but I’ve also added green peppers for a bit of different flavor.

Add a great salad with Italian dressing made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a loaf of homemade bread, and your family will give you a gold star.


Marla Smart of Green is a wife, mother, part-time children’s pastor and Douglas County Moms blogger on You can read her personal blog at

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The News-Review Updated Mar 9, 2014 08:36PM Published Mar 20, 2014 10:44AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.