Brilliant Bolognese

A quick and healthy meal using store cupboard ingredients and plenty of veg. Give our Bolognese a try to eat the rainbow!


Pasta or Rice – 70g per person

2 x 400g tins tomatoes

2 tbsp ketchup (or 2 tbsp tomato puree with 1 tsp sugar)

500ml vegetable stock, equal to 1 stock cube diluted in

500ml of water

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp dried mixed herbs or 1 tbsp of fresh herbs

1 onion, chopped finely

1 carrot and 1 courgette, grated

Salt and pepper to season


2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely (or use garlic in jar or tube)

1 celery stick, chopped finely

Meat (tinned meatballs or sausages), meat substitute, fish or lentils

Add fresh herbs at the end, like basil or parsley

Grated cheese, any type, to finish


1. Grate the onion, or chop it finely.

2. Grate the courgette and carrot.

3. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently until soft.

4. Add the grated courgette, carrot and celery. Stir well.

5. Grate the garlic and add it to the pan with the tomatoes.

6. Add the ketchup or tomato puree with sugar. Make the stock dissolving the stock cube in 500ml of water and add that too. Add also the dried herbs, salt and pepper.

7. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. After 30-35 minutes, put the pasta in a pot with salted, boiling water and cook for the recommended time.

9. Drain the pasta, mix with the bolognese and serve.


  • Make extra to keep in the fridge and use within a week, or freeze for another meal.

  • If you have any meat, fish, lentils or meat substitute add these at Step 4, browning them in a frying pan before you add the tomatoes.

  • This can also be the basis for Lasagne or a pasta bake.

  • If using fresh herbs, add them at the end of the cooking time.







This year has been challenging for all of us, but for some, it's been truly devastating. Since the Covid Pandemic started last March, demand for food bank parcels has unfortunately been very high.

This recipe is part of the series “Cooking A Rainbow”, curated by Grow to Give with support from Buckinghamshire Council and Feedback Global. Grow to Give was born out of these difficult times to help those affected and set up local collections of fresh food at allotments in the Aylesbury and High Wycombe area to distribute to people in difficulty. The response has been overwhelming: in 2020 over 1,600 kilos of local fresh food were donated to food banks from 7 allotments.

Click here to see 20 easy-to-follow recipes to eat the rainbow

The "Cooking a Rainbow" recipes are based on family favourites. Simple and quick to make, these recipes are tasty, filling and healthy. Colourful and enticing, you can use fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and veg. They work brilliantly as vegetarian but can also incorporate meat, meat substitute or fish.


A truly collaborative work

Grow to Give - Justine Harmer and Sheila Bees

Buckinghamshire Council


Grow Together

Empower to Cook

One Can Trust

Aylesbury Vineyard Storehouse

Recipe, concept and hands: Xenia Murray

Filming and editing: Ben Montgomery

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