I am a big fan of pasta – plain, with chicken, with meat, with vegetables, or even with just olive oil and garlic sauteed in it. The recipe is rather a lengthy one but all the hard work is worth the effort with the succulent meat sauce and the cheesy white sauce. There are three steps – cooking the pasta, making the meat sauce and making the cheese sauce.
Ingredients for meat sauce:
750 grams minced meat
1 tablespoon oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 medium garlic cloves chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
800 grams diced tomato
1/2 cup of water or stock
1 teaspoon crushed oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly crushed pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and garlic. Cook stirring occassionally for about 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Increase heat to high and add mince meat. Stir occassionally until meat changes colour and water evaporates. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, stock, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Stir and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for abt 40 minutes. Season meat sauce with salt and pepper. Chilli flakes can be added if desired. Make sure the sauce is moist but not watery.
Ingredients for Cheese sauce:
90 grams of butter
1/2 cup flour
800 ml. milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
65 grams grated parmesan cheese (I also use mozzarella)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir flour into melted butter and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly until bubbles are formed.
Remove from heat. Gradually add milk while constantly whisking. When all the milk has been added and sauce is smooth, return to heat and cook on medium-high flame for about 7 minutes or till sauce thickens. Add nutmeg and cheese. Stir to combine well. Season with salt and pepper. The consistency of the sauce will be like this:
Cook 500 grams of any type of pasta al dente. You can serve the pasta with the meat sauce drizzled with cheese sauce or you can also bake the pasta. For baking you will need 1/2 a cup of mozzarella and 1/2 a cup of cheddar cheeses. Assemble the pasta in a baking dish first by pouring a little cheese sauce at the bottom of the dish so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cover the dish with a layer of pasta, then a layer of meat sauce topped with cheese sauce. Make layers till all the meat sauce, pasta and cheese sauce has been used. Sprinkle shredded cheeses over it and bake at 180 degrees celsius for at least 15 minutes. Here’s the end result: