Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Risotto Bolognese

Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Now that we have a new flat with a spacious kitchen, I find myself wanting to be in there all the time. It’s not quite our dream kitchen yet, but I like being in the space and daydreaming about what we could turn it into. I find myself wishing I could spend all day every day in my kitchen somehow. 

If you’re looking to spend a lot of daydreaming time in your kitchen, you should definitely make risotto. Few recipes lend themselves so perfectly to spacing so well. 20 minutes of constant stirring is the perfect excuse for uninterrupted reflection. 

Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Risotto Bolognese is a bit of a project recipe. This is not something you can make on a Tuesday after soccer practice. This recipe is for those times when you really feel like cooking, when you want to linger in the kitchen and revel in your domesticity. The good news is, this makes so much risotto that you won’t have to cook for two more days.

We start by making bolognese sauce from scratch. If you have a food processor, it’s really easy. Get out your biggest oven proof pot because this dish has a built in nap time while your sauce bubbles away for an hour. I’m telling you, this is a cook’s indulgence.

Risotto Bolognese doesn’t require any special skill, just a bit of attention. And I mean a bit. It all pays off once you get it on the table, though. We took the time to develop deep flavors. I could eat this by the bucketful. 

Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s take the time to make something awesome.

Risotto Bolognese
Serves 6
Risotto Bolognese takes time, but the result is completely worth it.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  2. 1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
  3. 1 stick celery, cut into large chunks
  4. 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  5. small handful of fresh parsley
  6. 75 grams bacon
  7. 50 grams plus 1 tablespoon butter
  8. 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  9. 250 grams ground beef
  10. 80 ml marsala
  11. 1 can chopped tomatoes
  12. 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  13. 2 tablespoons milk
  14. 1 to 2 liters beef stock, divided
  15. 2 bay leaves
  16. 500 grams risotto rice
  17. 6 tablespoons grated parmesan
  18. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150C and dig out a big oven proof pot.
  2. Add your onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and bacon to your food processor. Blitz away until you have a colorful mush. Don't put your processor away yet. We're using it again in a minute.
  3. In your large pot, heat the butter and olive oil. Add your veggie/bacon mush to the pot, and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the ground beef and break it up with your wooden spoon. Allow it to brown, then add in the red wine.
  5. Tip your can of chopped tomatoes into your food processor and crank it up until smooth. It will only take a couple seconds. Add to the pot and give it a stir.
  6. In a small dish, stir together the milk and tomato puree. Add that to your pot along with 500 ml of your beef stock and your bay leaves. Give it all a good mix.
  7. Bring this to a boil and then clamp the lid on your pot. Transfer it to the oven, and allow it to bubble away happily for an hour.
  8. Once your meat sauce is out of the oven, put it back on the stove over low heat, and fish out the bay leaves. Add your remaining stock to a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. Make sure the rest of your ingredients are ready because you're about to enter deep stirring reverie.
  9. Add your rice to your meat sauce and start your stirring. Depending on how much liquid is already in your sauce, you may need to add a ladleful of stock at this time.
  10. Continue to stir your rice for about 18-20 minutes, add another ladle of stock every time the liquid becomes absorbed. I never need all the stock, but if you need it and don't have it ready, you're screwed. Give your rice a taste to check it's cooked through.
  11. When it's ready, turn the heat off and stir in a tablespoon of butter and your parmesan cheese. Taste it to see if you want to add any salt and pepper.
  12. Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of parmesan.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve become a bit of a meatloaf evangelist here in the UK. I don’t know how this happened. It’s not as if I grew up eating meatloaf. I probably wouldn’t have liked it as a kid and truth be told, I still try to pick out bits of onion whenever possible. As I learned to cook, though, meatloaf became something I embraced. 

It has a bit of a bad reputation. If you overcook it or don’t add enough moisture to the mix, it can be a disappointment. But if it’s done right, it’s not only tasty the first time around with cheesy mashed potatoes, it’s equally as awesome the next day on soft sandwich bread with a healthy dose of mayo. It’s time to get on board all around the world. 

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf has a bit of an Italian flare. Nothing authentic or elevated. I mean, it’s just meatloaf, people. There’s mozzarella cheese layered throughout, and it’s topped off with your favorite tomato basil sauce. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law loved it. I’m starting a British meatloaf revolution.

I served this with mashed potatoes punched up with some parmesan cheese. You could probably also throw in a nice green salad if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Is retro still a thing? I have no idea, but I’m definitely still into meatloaf. Make it happen.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf
Serves 6
Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf is perfect for a nostalgic weeknight dinner.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  2. 15 ounces of your favorite tomato sauce
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 1 cup bread crumbs
  5. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  6. 1-1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  9. 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, one cup tomato sauce, and all remaining ingredients except for mozzarella cheese. Gently mix all ingredients. I find it's easiest to do this with my hands.
  3. Add a third of the meat mixture to a loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle over half the cheese. Add another third of the meat, then the rest of the cheese, and finally the last of the meat.
  4. Cook your meatloaf in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the meatloaf and spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top. Cook in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Mealoaf Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Mascarpone Meringue Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Top 16 of 2016 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 16 of 2016

Top 16 of 2016 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

2016 was a battle. I feel beaten and battered and completely exhausted. I’m digging deep and finding hope for the future. Maybe this is the challenge we need to become the very best we are capable of. 

Let’s go to our happy place and talk about food. Here are your 16 favorite posts of 2016. Eat, drink, and be merry every single day.

16. Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

15. Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

14. Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake

13. Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

12. Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

11. Brown Elephant Cocktail

10. Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

9. Transformer Chicken

8. DIY Air Conditioner

7. Passion Fruit Green Tea

6. Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

5. Double Chocolate Muffins

4. Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

3. Chicken Parmesan

2. Peanut Butter Fudge

1. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Enough sadness. Let’s go be awesome. 

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