Make Mary Berry's bolognese bake from Simple Comforts episode 4!

Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts has appeared on our screens just in time for the cooler weather.

The BBC series showcases a range of the renowned chef’s bakes and dishes, putting her own spin on family favourites. It follows Mary on her travels to Paris, Ireland, the River Thames (where she cooks up a Thai salmon), and the Yorkshire Coast.

However the next two episodes of Simple Comforts will be set at home. So how can viewers make the bolognese bake that Mary dishes up in episode 4? Here is the step-by-step guide and recipe!

Screenshot: Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts trailer, BBC

Ingredients: Mary Berry’s bolognese bake

While the preparation time only takes half an hour, this bolognaise bake will need to be cooked way ahead of dinner. This is because it takes between 1 to 2 hours of cooking time in the oven.

For the recipe, you will need quite a few ingredients. These include, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 chopped onions, 2 finely chopped celery sticks, 675g beef mince, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 x 400g chopped tomato tins, 500ml beef stock, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tsp redcurrant jelly.

You will also need: 1 tbsp butter, 250g sliced chestnut mushrooms, 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, 225g penne pasta, 50g grated cheddar, 30g grated parmesan, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and green or tomato salad to serve the dish with.

Mary has previously made a pasta bake, with chicken instead, but this is a different twist on her original recipe which can be seen in the Tweet below.

How to make the dish from Simple Comforts episode 4

Before making the dish, you will need to ensure you have a large, shallow ovenproof dish, at about 1.7 litres deep.

The bake can be made 6 hours ahead of baking and serving – essential when preparing for a dinner party!

Step 1: Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or flameproof casserole. Add the onions and celery and fry over a high heat for about 3 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the mince and fry until browned, breaking it up with two wooden spoons as it browns.


Step 2: Add the garlic and tomato purée and stir for a few seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and redcurrant jelly and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 30–35 minutes.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Step 4: Melt the butter in a lidded frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for a minute. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and fry over a high heat for 2 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated. Add the mushrooms and thyme to the mince and stir well.

Step 5: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well and run under cold water. Stir the pasta into the mince and check the seasoning.

Step 6: Spoon into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the cheeses and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling around the edges. Serve piping hot with a green salad or tomato salad.



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