Today my mother and father (AKA Nan-kneeee and Baa Baa) kindly looked after Charlie whilst I had the pleasure of visiting the Coventry branch of Ikea. (Less said the better, though I do have a wonderful storage solution for all the stuff we need for the imminent Baby Bell #2.)

When I returned we asked Charlie whether he’d like a little brother or a little sister. With no hesitation he replied ‘baby bus.’ I like to think I’d do most things for my precious first born but I draw the line at birthing a bus.

Onto the recipe! My friend Sophie served this bolognese with pasta twirls to her twins and Charlie when they played together last week. Charlie lapped it up. I knew there had to be some wonderful magic ingredient. When quizzed Sophie revealed the secret was very simple – grated carrot. Now Charlie loves carrots any which way he can get them, so added grated carrot was bound to be a hit.

I took my normal bolognese recipe and used baby stock cubes from Boots to cut out some salt, then added finely diced bacon at the onion frying stage to increase the flavour and re-add a bit of saltiness. Then, just before letting the bolognese simmer and develop for 1 hour added three grated carrots. (I didn’t peel them, just a quick scrub.) Once ready I open froze tablespoons of the mixture onto greaseproof paper, then transferred to freezer bags when rock solid. Charlie likes his ‘bolognese’ served with frozen peas and pasta but frankly this would be pretty good with most accompaniments.

Sophie warned me this toddler adaptation is very sweet. I clearly have immature tastebuds as Mr B and I enjoyed it very much on top of large field mushrooms with a sprinkling of grated cheese grilled on the top. Mmmm…

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