Pasta and meat sauce it is sooooo comforting:
I’ve been to Italy several times, Milan, Genoa, Bari and Sorrento, in fact I got married on one occasion in Sorrento…
The Italians, just like the rest of the Med have got things right. Eating al fresco, leisurely meals, good friends, fresh fish, beautiful but simple salads, wine, views, I could go on.
Palma, a beautiful woman from Bari took me to a restaurant at the harbour where we sat outside and enjoyed antipasti of meat, primo of pasta, secondo of fish with contorni (salad) and then dolce where we had cheese cake followed by a bowl of fresh fruit. Needless to say we had wine too and a wonderful view. It was magical.
This is not my recipe but Gino D’Campo’s mother’s. It takes 2 hours to make the meat sauce but trust me when I say it is worth it.
|I cooked this for my grandkids, it didn’t last very long
Baked pasta with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese
• 4 tablespoons of toasted breadcrumbs
• 3 mozzarella balls, drained and sliced (do not use buffalo mozzarella)
• 3 tablespoons of salted butter
• 4 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
• 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
• 1 x 700ml bottle of Passata (sieved tomatoes)
• 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
• 2 glasses of dry red wine
• 80g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, carrot and celery for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add in the minced meats and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes stirring continuously until coloured all over. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine, stir well and continue to cook for 5 minutes until the wine has evaporated. Pour in the sieved tomatoes with the tomato puree and the stock, lower the heat and cook for 2 hours with the lid off. Stir the sauce every 20 minutes. Once the sauce is ready, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large saucepan, cook the pasta in the salted boiling water until al dente. “To get the al dente perfect bite, cook the pasta 1 minute less then instructed on the packet”. Drain and tip back into the same pan where you cooked it. Pour over the meat sauce and gently stir all together allowing the flavours to combine properly. Preheat the oven at 180ºC.
Meanwhile, butter a 30cm gratin dish and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the dish and scatter over the mozzarella cheese. Cover with the remaining pasta. Dot the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle over the parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until it is bubbling and blistering on top. Before serving, let it rest for 5 minutes out of the oven so it will be easier when portion it.
I have reproduced Gino’s Mum’s recipe exactly as he told it but I bet hers included veal.
|In case you don’t know who
Gino d’Acampo is…