I don’t pretend that I am a connoisseur of the Italian cuisine, but I know my way around a kitchen – I hope that by now you agree with me on that! – Today’s recipe is a classic around my kitchen table, and gets often made in larger quantities, to then being portioned and frozen in. So when I feel like it, I can just get a portion out of the freezer and serve it over pasta or steamed green beans.
It is quite easy to make, and as usual quite fast to make as well, although I like to take my time with this sauce, and put sufficient flavour blending time in, so all the flavours come together nicely.
For my pasta sauce, I use:
- 300 gr fresh minced beef
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 medium shallots
- 1 can of peeled tomatoes (rather than passata, but that works too) – this is the 400 gr size
- 1 bell pepper, peeled and sliced – I had orange one today, so used that. Other colours work too, although the red ones are slightly sweeter. If you can find the red sweet peppers, use those
- 100 gr of fresh carrot, peeled and diced
- 1.5 tablespoons of concentrated tomato puree (Kunserva in Maltese)
- 1 glass of red wine
- Different Herbs – pepper & salt, 2 bayleaves, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, marjoram
First we prepare our vegetables; this means we rinse, peel and slice or dice the garlic, shallots, bell pepper and carrot. Then set aside.
In a frying pan, melt some butter, and bring to hot. Then add the minced beef bit by bit, and season with pepper, salt, and the other herbs. Fry for a few minutes till coloured brown and set aside.
In a cooking pot, melt some more butter and add on the shallot and garlic. Leave to fry until the shallot and garlic turn translucent. Now add the carrot and bell pepper and stir. Lower the heat to medium and put a lid on it. Leave to stew for a 5 to 10 minutes. Occasionally stir so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Now add the glass of red wine. Stir well, and leave to stew until the red wine is all absorbed by the vegetables and cooked in. Then add on the minced meat and stir. Leave for another 5 to 10 minutes, before adding on the peeled tomatoes and the concentrated tomato puree. Rinse the can with a little water (not more than a third of the can size) so you get all the goodness out of it. Poor this into the mix too.
Now it is time to season – season this well with more of the green herbs, salt and pepper and stir. Then add on the bayleaves, and leave to softly simmer for at least 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally so nothing sticks. Taste as well to see if the seasoning is on point, if not, add some more. Remember, you can always add but not take out!
In another pot, bring salted water to the boil, and cook your pasta (I used tagliatelle Paglia e Fieno) as per instructions. Add a little olive oil to the water so your pasta won’t stick once you drain it.
Serve in a deep plate, with the sauce on top, and some freshly grated Parmesan.
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