Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bolognese Pasta Bake

There's a credit crunch on in the UK. Interest rates blah blah, mortgages blah blah... I hate these buzz phrases as a rule so to break it down - stuff is expensive. No, REALLY expensive. Switch the $ for a £ and you've about got it. i.e. double it... ish... Self catering is the way to go and nothing feeds the masses like pasta and with time on my hands an authentic ragu was a possibility. Measurements are casual; its all to taste; get the basics in order and tinker with it as you will.

Recipe Ingredients for 6

2 lbs lean ground beef (I used Aberdeen Angus - arseholes to the credit crunch)
1 large onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced (not authentic but delicious)
1/2 cup of diced celery & carrot
1 large can of tomatoes
1/2 cup of tomato puree
salt & pepper
olive oil
(ragu purists may add a bay leaf or a spoon of milk at the end of cooking; perhaps a hint of nutmeg too)

2 cups of Bechamel / white Sauce (homemade or from a jar at a push)
1 cup grated parmesan
1 pack of pasta (I used spirals for their kid friendliness)

Recipe Directions
  1. Saute the onion & vegetables until softened in a tbs of olive oil then add the meat and cook until browned.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, give a good stir and cook at the merest bubble for 3 hours or so stirring occasionally.
  3. Taste for seasoning and remove from heat.
  4. Make the white sauce in the usual way or cop out and add a jar of ragu cheese sauce or white sauce mix.
  5. Cook the pasta and drain. Mix into the Bolognese sauce and place in a large oven proof dish.
  6. Pour over the white sauce and top with copious amounts of cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until cheese is bubbling.

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