Monday, October 4, 2010

Rustic Beef & Vegetable Spaghetti

rustic spaghettiI'm going to share with you readers my favorite dish, in fact I love it so much I have cooked it for my main meal for the last several years a few times a week at times. This recipe was developed over years of learning, listening, experimenting and of course tasting. What I like so much about this dish is that it is healthy, tasty and adaptable all in one. You can chop & change ingredients to suit your own tastes and if you only have dried herbs on hand instead of fresh ones then it will still taste great. In fact the picture I have provided is what I cooked for my own meal this evening and we never had any fresh herbs on hand so it was cooked with dried ones while it was still most enjoyable.

So let's start with an ingredient list shall we...


Ingredients for Rustic Beef & Vegetable Spaghetti (serve 1 person):

  • 1 serving of fresh or dried pasta, it's better to make your own but dried is fine. Use standard Spaghetti or fettuccine.

  • 4-5 small fresh tomatoes, chopped into medium sized pieces or a 1/3rd of a can of organic tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped finely

  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped

  • 1 small courgette, chopped into bite sized pieces

  • medium sized piece of green capsicum, chopped into bite sized pieces

  • half a cup of fresh baby spinach leaves

  • Fresh Danish Feta cheese, chopped into 6 -7 1 inch pieces

  • Fresh Permission Cheese, grated for serving

  • 3 -4 fresh basil leaves

  • 1 sprig of fresh oregano

  • 1 small bay leave

  • 1/2 tsp of Paprika

  • 1 small hot red chili or use to taste

  • Good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • 1 serving of rump steak

  • 1 rasher of middle bacon

  • 2 small button mushrooms, chopped roughly

  • 1 small dried clove

  • sprinkle of sea salt

  • sprinkle of raw sugar

  • sprinkle of fresh cream

Method:

Prepare and chop ingredients and have everything ready to use. Use a food processor and mince the steak & bacon together until it is minced nicely. Do not mince it so it is too fine, stop the processor before it is minced to fine.

Pre-heat your oven and a casserole dish to medium heat (around 180 c).

Now heat a large chef quality fry pan until it becomes quite hot and put an amount of olive oil in to cover the base. When the oil is showing it is hot (which should be right away) then make sure the fry pan base is covered with the oil and place the mince in. Lay it flat so it covered the pan base while browning quickly. Your goal is to brown the mince on one side quickly, not to boil it slowly.

Once it has browned then quickly turn it over and then place the onions into the pan as well while turning the heat down a bit now. Stir and then proceed to introduce the rest of the vegetables starting with the mushrooms, then the courgette and then the capsicum. Keep stirring everything while it is frying lightly.

Now start placing the garlic, chili and the tomatoes into the pan and continue to fry lightly and mix. Now you can put most of the basil & oregano in ( you can keep some fresh leaves for later if you like). Proceed to mix in the rest of the ingredients, the paprika, clove and bay leaves.

Now place some fresh cold or tepid water into the pan to glaze it and give it some juice, about half a cup. Continue to stir on low heat for a few minutes. sprinkle a tiny bit of raw sugar & sea salt into mix. Pour in the fresh cream as well, maybe a large tbsp or to taste.

Now take the pre-heated casserole dish out and place the pasta sauce into the dish and quickly place back in oven.

Cook in oven for a further 15 minutes on low to medium heat.

You should now start to prepare & cook your pasta so it will be al dente & ready just as you serve the pasta beef & vegetable sauce.

Once everything is ready to serve, take the pasta from the water and drain with sieve. Leave a tiny bit of water before completely draining and place pasta back in the same pot. Now sprinkle some olive oil onto the pasta and mix quickly & briefly with a fork. Once all the juice has been absorbed by the pasta then serve on to plate.

Take the pasta sauce out of the oven and place on oven top. Take lid off and place the feta cheese & spinach into the dish. Mix carefully and place lid back on for 1 minute.

Now serve the pasta sauce mix onto the cooked pasta.

Sprinkle permission cheese over the top and a few chopped herb leaves for garnish.

Enjoy!

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