Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bolognese Panda Bento

Bolognese Panda Bento by sherimiya ♥
Bolognese Panda Bento, a photo by sherimiya ♥ on Flickr.
Who says gluten-free has to be boring? Here's a bento for TinySprite I whipped up quickly using leftovers from dinner: pasta bolognese (naturally gluten-free) tossed with brown rice tube pasta, topped with romano and parmesan, and oregano. She's a meat lover, this girl, and meals like this are very satisfying for her. I'm happy to be able to pack it in her favorite panda bento bowl. She had previously asked to "always use this box please" - so I'm trying. The upper tier contains some super sweet dark cherries, a couple of pristine white lychee, Okinawan sweet potato flower shapes, a baby homegrown white peach, a homegrown apricot, some black splendor plums, and fresh corn off the cob.

Bolognese Sauce (from Real Simple)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (I omitted)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I omitted)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, then add the beef and cook until brown. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan.


  1. Looks delicious! Definitely not boring at all!

  2. I love that little panda box. So cute ! And as Jenn said, not boring at all.

  3. Hi Sheri!!! How have you been? It's almost here for me to start making bento for my son... ARRHHH! I started to be panic... I won't be able to make nice lunches like you do. What do I do what do I do... I really hope practice will make it perfect. Your lunches are always so cheerful and nutritious. I really love that about your lunches!

    1. Thanks Nami; I bet your bento will be cute and delicious as all your food is! Can't wait to see them :)

  4. I love it! TS has great taste, that does look satisfying! Homegrown apricots!! Nothing gets better than that!

    1. Homegrown is the best, no contest. Thanks Ohayobento!

  5. um, i'll take one panda bolognese rice pasta homegrown veggie combo lunch please? seriously, i think of bolognese as kind of cold-weather food, but you've kept this so light and summery and refreshing that who *wouldn't* want to dig in?! TS is lucky to have a mom doing such an awesome job of GF cooking :-)

    1. Thanks a lot megan; it does make a comforting cold-weather meal, but I gotta get the calories into my skinny minnie and this one does the trick pretty well. The sauce is also yummy over rice, as I had it for lunch myself :D