This pasta Bolognese will be the perfect weekday meal for your kids

And a good way to sneak in some veggies for the little ones

HOUSTON – Chefs not only cook for restaurant-goers, they also do it to feed their families. But what do they make for their most important eaters at home: their kids?

Dustin Teague, executive chef with Relish Restaurant & Bar, shares a weekday meal he prepares for his son George.

“This is the perfect weekday meal - super simple. Only one-pot, great for adults and kids alike,” said Teague, who explained Bolognese makes for a great sauce because you can repurpose in a few different ways.

Weekday Bolognese from Chef Dustin Teague
Weekday Bolognese from Chef Dustin Teague (KPRC)

“This sauce is great over pasta, in lasagna, or even as an Italian-style sloppy Joe,” he said.

“We like to use mini sliders to make it a little more fun for the kiddos and they can then add their own cheese,"said Teague.

“Pasta is usually a ‘safe’ food with kids. We know George will always go for pasta,” said the owner of the River Oaks neighborhood hotspot, known for featuring classic American cuisine fused with Mediterranean influences.

To see Teague’s complete interview, watch the video above.

Pasta Bolognese from Chef Dustin Teague
Pasta Bolognese from Chef Dustin Teague (KPRC)



● 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

● 3 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta

● ½ cup chopped onion

● ⅔ cup chopped celery

● ⅔ cup chopped carrot (can also grate and make it easier!)

● ½ cup grated zucchini (optional)

● ¾ pound ground beef chuck (or you can use 1-part pork to 2 parts beef)

● Salt

● Black pepper

● 1 cup whole milk

● ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

● 1 cup beef stock or water

● 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes

● 1-pound pasta

● Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table


1. Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot (and zucchini if using). Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.

2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well and cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color.

3. Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add about 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and stir.

4. Add the stock (or water), let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down and simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or more, stirring from time to time - if sauce dries out, add about ½ cup water or stock to thin.

5. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side. We find serving with Parmesan on the side is always fun for kids to get interactive and add their own cheese.

Recipe provided by: Dustin Teague

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