Baked Pasta Part 1 was pretty neat, chicken in a savoury cream sauce. Decided to change things up with beef this time, and added something missing from the chicken version: sourness in the form of a tomato sauce.
These are the ingredients you'll need. Serves 1-2.
- 200g pasta (any form will do, i used macaroni)
- 200g beef (i cut mine up into thick cube chunks because i like my beef chewy, mince will do fine as well)
- a couple cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 carrots, chopped into chunks
- a grab of grated cheese
- tomato puree
- herbs to taste (i used a lot of oregano and freshly ground pepper)
- pinch of salt to draw out the flavour in the beef
Here's how to do it.
Finely chop the garlic, over small fire, fry lightly with the butter in a saucepan. Very important to use a minimal fire here, you just want to lightly brown the beef to seal in the juices; if the beef starts to "sweat", then you're overcooking it. Sprinkle some salt.
Meanwhile, bring water to boil in another saucepan, chuck in the pasta and carrots together, and boil together for 6-7 minutes. The carrots in this dish really adds a delightful sweetness.
Once the beef is done (about 2-3 min max), carefully pluck it out of the saucepan onto a plate, leaving behind all the garlic and browned butter. Bring the flame back on, then pour in the tomato puree. Continuously stir to reduce over medium heat, about 5-6 minutes, or until it bubbles mildly. Sprinkle in the herbs. Don't overcook it, it burns easily and will leave a bitter taste.
Generally speaking, the beef and the sauce will be ready before the pasta and carrots are done.
Drain out the pasta and carrots, and pour into a baking dish. You may choose to add in a layer of cheese now, but i didn't in order to save the calories. Cheese here will thicken the dish considerably and give it a nice cheesy texture; without the cheese, it'll be a tad bit more saucy instead.
Arrange the beef evenly over the pasta and carrots, then pour on the sauce. The tomato sauce, enriched with the garlic and butter will be superb. Then sprinkle on the cheese.
Chuck it into the oven at 220 degrees celcius for 18 minutes.
Allow to sit and cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Minimum condiments are required, i used Tabasco to balance out the sourness.