Pasta al Forno Siciliana

Pasta al forno Siciliana Pasta al forno Siciliana

 

Layers of ragù, rigatoni, ham, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses make pasta al forno Siciliana a truly flavourful Italian dish.

 

Pasta al Forno Siciliana
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour on hob, 25 minutes in oven

  • Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 900g (2 lb) minced/ground beef
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 240ml (8 fl oz)red wine (1 cup)
  • 540ml (18 fl oz) passata (2¼ cups)
  • 225g (8 oz) frozen peas (1½ cups)
  • 450g (1 lb) rigatoni pasta (7½ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) sliced ham, cut into strips (about 6 slices)
  • 225g (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve

  • To serve
  • A green salad or caesar salad

  • You will also need a deep ovenproof dish measuring 22cm x 30.5cm (8½ ins x 12 ins) and 6.5cm (2½ ins) deep.


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Now turn up the heat to moderate, add the meat and brown, stirring often to break up any lumps, about 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in the oregano, thyme, wine, and plenty of seasoning. Continue to cook until the wine has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

  5. Next, stir in the passata, 240ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) water, and add the bay leaf. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. At the end of the cooking time the consistency should be that of a loose ragù. Add a little more water if it is getting too thick.

  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F)( gas 5).

  7. minutes before the ragù has finished cooking, start cooking the pasta. Add the pasta to a large pan of boiling salted water and let it cook for 2 minutes less than the recommended time on the packet. Drain.

  8. Add the peas to the ragù and then remove the pan from the heat. Discard the bay leaf.

  9. Now to layer the dish. Spoon a thin layer of the ragù over the base of the ovenproof dish. Add half the pasta and then spoon over half the remaining ragù. Top with all the ham. Now scatter over half the mozzarella plus 2 tbsp of the Parmesan. Add the rest of the pasta then spoon over the rest of the ragù. Finally scatter over the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

  10. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes until piping hot and golden.

  11. Serve with extra Parmesan sprinkled on the top and a salad.

Updated: October 1, 2018

Cannelloni Al Forno

Cannelloni

 

A great recipe for a family meal.

 

Cannelloni Al Forno
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes (plus 25 minutes, if making the béchamel sauce from scratch)
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes (plus 10 minutes, if making the béchamel sauce from scratch)

  • Ingredients
  • Cannelloni ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (minced)
  • 340g (12 oz) minced/ground beef
  • 400g can (½ × 28 oz can) chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 360ml (12 fl oz) passata (1½ cups)
  • 16 cannelloni shells
  • béchamel sauce, made with 300ml (10 fl oz) milk*
  • 115g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded (1 cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) Parmesan, grated/ shredded (½ cup)

  • *In the UK you can buy packets of powered béchamel sauce to which you just add milk and heat. However, I can’t find this in Canada and so have to make the sauce from scratch, which is very easy. You will find the recipe below.

  • You will also need an ovenproof dish large enough to take 16 filled cannelloni shells in a single layer.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), (gas 4).

  3. If making the béchamel sauce from scratch, make it now (see below).

  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet then gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Now add the meat and brown over a medium heat for 5 minutes, breaking up any clumps as it browns.

  5. Next stir in the tomatoes along with the seasonings. Gently simmer for 10 minutes.

  6. sauce simmering
  7. If making the béchamel sauce from a packet, make it now, following the directions on the packet.

  8. Pour half the passata into the ovenproof dish.

  9. Fill the cannelloni shells with the meat mixture, placing them in the dish as you go.

  10. Pasta filled with meat sauce
  11. Now pour over the remaining passata and then top with the béchamel sauce.

  12. Passata added
  13. Adding béchamel sauce
  14. Topped with béchamel










  15. Sprinkle over the mozzarella and then the Parmesan covering the sauce completely.

  16. Topped with cheese
  17. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

  18. Tip
  19. In UK the packets of grated mozzarella have no additional additives. In Canada the shredded mozzarella does. To avoid the additives, shred block mozzarella, popping it in the freezer for 30 minutes first to firm up. It will make shredding easier.

Béchamel Sauce
 
  • Ingredients
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups), warmed
  • 1 shallot, skinned and sliced OR a small piece of onion skinned
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 stick celery, washed and thickly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Method
  2. Pour the milk into a small pan. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns then bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the vegetables and flavourings.

  3. Melt the butter in a clean pan and then, over a low heat, blend in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and then slowly add the milk, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth. Now return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce until it thickens, stirring continuously. Season to taste.

 

Angie’s Lasagne

Angie's Lasagna

 

This is a lasagne recipe that I stumbled across many years ago and that has always been a great family favourite. The dish has three layers of pasta, a meaty tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese, topped with Parmesan.

 

Angie's Lasagne
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 9 lasagne sheets
  • 450g (1 lb) mince/ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins or 1 x 796ml can Italian chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 156ml (5½ fl oz) tin tomato paste (⅔ cup)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 450g (1 lb) mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded* (4 cups)
  • 28g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated/shredded (¼ cup)

  • For this recipe you will need a deep sided frying pan/skillet or sauté pan.
  • Also a 32.5 x 22.5 x 5 cm (13 x 9 x 2 inch) ovenproof dish.

  • *In the UK the prepackaged grated mozzarella cheese contains only cheese and anti-caking ingredients. In Canada it has more additives, so I buy the block mozzarella and grate it myself. Just pop it in the freezer for ten minutes before grating to firm it up.

  • To serve
  • A Caesar salad can be served as an accompaniment.


  1. Method
  2. Brown the meat in the frying pan/skillet over a medium heat, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, ⅔ cup water, and seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  5. Many brands of lasagne pasta require no pre-cooking but I have found they benefit from cooking for a short time anyway. A baked lasagne using uncooked pasta isn’t as moist.

  6. So, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a glug of olive oil. Drop 5 of the lasagne sheets into the water one at a time (crossing each one over the other) and boil for 4 minutes. They need to be cooked in two batches or they will stick together while cooking. Remove the sheets with a pair of tongs and rinse under cold water, then lay the sheets separately on a clean tea-towel. Repeat with the remaining four sheets.

  7. To layer up the lasagne. First, spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of the lasagne pan. Then layer 3 lasagne sheets, a third of the remaining meat sauce, and a third of the mozzarella cheese on top. Repeat layering the pasta, meat sauce, and cheese twice more. Finally sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.

  8. Bake, covered with foil, in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes.

  9. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving into portions.

Updated: May 3, 2018

Spaghetti Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes

Spaghetti Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes

 

This spaghetti bolognese uses cherry tomatoes instead of chopped or diced tomatoes. The Italian tomatoes add a burst of sweetness to the sauce which makes it just a little bit different.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes (hob)

  • Ingredients
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 400g (14 oz) minced/ground beef
  • 115g (4 oz) streaky bacon/side bacon (about 4 rashers)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée/paste
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) red wine (½ cup)
  • 250ml (8 fl oz) hot beef stock (1 cup)
  • 2 x 400g tins/cans cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp curly leaf parsley, chopped

  • To serve
  • grated Parmesan
  • spaghetti

  • You will also need a large sauté pan.


  1. Method
  2. Heat half a tablespoon of the oil in the pan and brown the beef, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set to one side.

  3. Cut the bacon rashers into cubes and add to the pan. Once the fat starts to run and they begin to brown, remove from the pan using the slotted spoon and set aside with the beef. This will take about 3–4 minutes.

  4. Now, reduce the heat and add the remaining oil to the pan with the onion, celery, and carrot. Gently cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes until they soften, stirring frequently.

  5. Stir through the garlic and tomato purée/paste and cook for a further minute.

  6. Then return the beef and bacon to the pan. Stir in the red wine and increase the heat to medium. Let the wine bubble away until it has reduced by half.

  7. Next, stir in the beef stock and add half the oregano, nutmeg, bay leaf, and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer very gently for 45 minutes.

  8. Just before serving, stir in the remaining oregano and half the parsley.

  9. Serve the spaghetti sauce over the pasta and scatter the top with the remaining parsley and some grated Parmesan.

Updated: April 15, 2018

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 55 minutes

  • Ingredient
  • 675g (1½ lb) stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch cubes)
  • 3 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée/paste
  • nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 55g (2 oz) flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) beef stock (2½ cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • bouquet garni*
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) beer (⅔ cup)

  • *In Canada these little bags of bouquet garni aren’t available so I make my own. A simple bouquet garni consists of a sprig each of parsley and thyme, a bay leaf, 2 cloves, and a few peppercorns, tied together in muslin to form a sack.

  • To serve
  • egg noodles

  • You will also need a deep sided large sauté pan. A stove-top to oven pan is ideal, otherwise you will also need a large casserole dish.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Tip 3 tablespoons flour into a plastic storage bag and season. Shake bag to mix. Add the meat to the bag and shake again to coat the meat with the flour. Set aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan over a medium-low heat and gently cook the onions and pepper for 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.

  5. Add the remaining oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Add the beef cubes and lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

  6. Reduce the heat to low and stir through the paprika. Cook for a further minute.

  7. Stir in the tomato purée/paste, seasoning, flour, and a little grated nutmeg. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

  8. Gradually add the stock, stirring until well blended. Increase the heat to medium and cook the sauce until it is smooth and thick.

  9. Remove from the heat. Return the onions and peppers to the pan. Then stir through the tomatoes and add the bouquet garni.

  10. Cover and cook the goulash in the oven for 1¾ hours.

  11. Stir in the beer and return the pan to the oven, covered, and cook for a further 10 minutes.

  12. Serve over egg noodles.

Updated: April 14, 2018

Rich Beef Stew

Rich Beef Stew

This is a lovely rich beef stew with chunks of beef, baby carrots, swede/rutabaga and red onion, cooked slowly in a wine and passata enriched stock. Perfect for a cold winter’s day, served with garlic mashed potatoes.

 

Rich Beef Stew
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the stew
  • 675g (1½ lb) stewing steak, cut into 5cm (2 inch) chunks
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • knob of butter
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) red wine (½ cup)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) passata (1¼ cups)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) good beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 450g (1 lb) Chantenay carrots (baby carrots*)
  • 450g (1 lb) swede/rutabaga, cut into small chunks (about half a small one)

  • Note
  • *Chantenay carrots found in the U.K. are lovely, small, sweet carrots. The baby carrots found in Canada are smaller and can be a good substitute, or just use ordinary carrots roughly chopped, small.

  • For this recipe you will need a deep sided frying pan/skillet with lid.

  • For the garlic mashed potatoes
  • 800g (1¾ lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (5 medium)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • knob of butter


  1. Method
  2. For the stew
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the pan and brown the beef, in two batches, over a medium heat. Set to one side.

  4. Add a little more oil to the pan, if necessary, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. The onion should be just beginning to brown.

  5. Next, add the garlic, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, wine and a good knob of butter. Now return the beef to the pan with any of its juices. Give it all a good stir and then increase the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes to reduce.

  6. Stir in the passata and stock. Season well. Cover and let it simmer very gently for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

  7. Add the carrots and swede/rutabaga and cook for a further hour. The meat should be really tender and the vegetables cooked through.

  8. Remove the thyme sprigs before serving.

  9. For the garlic mashed potatoes
  10. Peel and cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces. Cook in boiling salted water for 20 minutes until tender.

  11. In a separate pan, over a low heat, add the oil, garlic, rosemary, and sage. Then simmer very gently for about 10 minutes to flavour the oil. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and sage.

  12. Drain the potatoes and mash with the oil. Add a knob of butter, season, and beat until creamy.

Updated: March 15, 2018

One-Dish Beef Casserole

One-dish Beef Casserole

 

This easy beef casserole is made from chunks of steak, braised slowly with carrots, onions and potatoes in a tomato-based beef stock. Once prepared and in the oven there is nothing more to do!

 

One-Dish Beef Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: about 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2½ hours

  • Ingredients
  • 700g (1½ lb) stewing steak
  • 28g (1 oz) flour (3 tbsp)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 450g (1 lb) carrots, sliced (6 medium)
  • 700g (1½ lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced (4½ medium)
  • ground nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 400g tin whole tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can)
  • good beef stock
  • 225g (8 oz) peas (optional) (1½ cups)

  • You will need a lidded casserole dish for this recipe


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Place the flour in a medium plastic food storage bag and add salt and pepper. Shake the bag to mix. Cut the steak into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and add to the bag. Shake again so the flour coats the steak. Remove the steak from the bag but reserve any remaining flour.

  4. Layer steak, onions, carrots and potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with a pinch of nutmeg and some seasoning as you go.

  5. Sprinkle the remaining flour from the bag over the meat and vegetables and then add the tomatoes.

  6. Finally pour over enough stock to come just over halfway up the ingredients.

  7. Cover and cook for 2½ hours.

  8. Peas can be added 15 minutes before the end of cooking.

Updated: March 14, 2018

Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings

 

The addition of Guinness makes this a hearty beef casserole on a cold winter’s day. The beef is cooked very slowly with carrots, swede/rutabaga, and onions in the Guinness and beef stock. Soak all this up with herby dumplings.

 

Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the casserole
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 450g (1 lb) stewing steak, cut into 5cm (2 inch) chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 225g (8 oz) swede/rutabaga, cut into small chunks (half a small rutabaga)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) Guinness (⅔ cup) (optional)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) good beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme

  • For the dumplings
  • 140g (5 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • 120.ml (4 fl oz) milk (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme), or
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and a pinch of black pepper

  • You will also need a deep sided frying pan for this recipe.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2)

  3. For the casserole
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and brown the beef over a medium heat. Set aside.

  5. Add the remaining oil to the pan, reduce the heat, and gently cook the onions and carrots for 10 minutes until softened. Then add the swede/rutabaga and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  6. Return the beef to the pan, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring continuously, until there is a smooth sauce. Stir in the Guinness. (If omitting the Guinness, just add extra stock.)

  7. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Then cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

  8. For the dumplings
  9. Make up the dumplings 15 minutes before the casserole is ready.

  10. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the herbs. Using a flat-bladed knife, gradually stir in enough milk to make a soft but not sticky dough (you may not need all the milk). Divide the dough into 8 balls.

  11. Drop the dumplings onto the top of the casserole, spaced evenly apart. Cover and cook the casserole for a further 20 minutes until the dumplings are puffed up.

  12. To serve
  13. Accompany with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Updated: March 13, 2018

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

 

What can I say? Spaghetti Bolognese is a real family favourite. And quick and easy to prepare!

 

Spaghetti Bolognese
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the Bolognese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 450g (1 lb) minced/ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 275ml (10 fl oz) beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 115g (4 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (1½ cups) (optional)

  • For the spaghetti
  • 225g (8 oz) spaghetti (filling the hole of a pasta server with spaghetti is a single portion)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a little olive oil

  • To serve
  • Parmesan

  • Equipment
  • large frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • a large pan for the spaghetti


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Increase the heat to medium, add the beef, and brown for about 5 minutes. Break up any clumps with a wooden spoon.

  4. Stir in the stock and tomato purée and bring to the boil.

  5. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, if using, and season. Give it a good stir and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and dash of olive oil, then ease the spaghetti into the pan.

  7. Reduce the heat a little and cook the spaghetti for the length of time according to the directions on the packet. (Can recommend DeCecco brand.)

  8. Drain through a large colander, reserving 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of the cooking water and then return to the pan with the spaghetti. Add the sauce and toss well.

  9. Spoon into bowls and top with little slivers of Parmesan.

  10. Note
  11. A Caesar salad makes a good starter. And garlic bread to serve with the Spaghetti Bolognese.

 

Teriyaki Steak

Teriyaki Steak

 

Slices of steak are marinated in a teriyaki sauce and then sautéed with mushrooms and tomatoes. Serving on a bed of flavoured brown rice for a very tasty dish.

 

Teriyaki Steak
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1–2 hours
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 575g (1lb 4 oz) sirloin or rump steak, fat removed
  • 4 tbsp medium-dry sherry
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 225g (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the rice
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 200g (7 oz) brown rice (1 cup)
  • 475 ml (15 fl oz) chicken stock (2 cups)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • To garnish
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • parsley


  1. Method
  2. Pour the sherry and soy sauce into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.

  3. Cut the steak into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices and add to the bowl. Turn the steak to coat, then cover the bowl, refrigerate, and leave to marinade for at least an hour.

  4. Remove the bowl from the fridge just before preparing the rice to enable the steak to come to room temperature.

  5. For the rice
  6. Put the onion, rice, stock and cumin seeds into a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 35–40 minutes until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.

  7. When it is cooked, leave to rest for 10 minutes while cooking the steak and vegetables.

  8. For the steak
  9. First, cut the tomatoes in half and then each half into thirds.

  10. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.

  11. Blend the cornflour/cornstarch into the marinade and set to one side.

  12. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the steak and stir fry for 2–3 minutes, turning frequently, until lightly browned.

  13. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for a further minute.

  14. Add the tomatoes and stir in the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute.

  15. To serve
  16. Divide the rice between four plates, spooning it around the edge of each plate to form a circle. Now divide the steak and vegetables into four portions placing each in the centre of the rice and spoon over any sauce remaining in the pan.

  17. Serve immediately, garnished with a little parsley.

 

Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Beef and Bacon Bolognese

 

This bolognese is loaded with wholesome ingredients. The beef and bacon are cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, chopped onions, diced carrots and celery, garlic, herbs and red wine.

 

Beef and Bacon Bolognese
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30–35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes hob

  • Ingredients
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 115g (4 oz) smoked bacon rashers, chopped (about 4 rashers)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) beef stock (⅔ cup)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs (basil, marjoram and oregano)
  • salt and pepper
  • 340g (12 oz) lean mince beef/ground beef
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 115g (4 oz) mushrooms, rinsed and sliced (6 button mushrooms)

  • To serve
  • serve with fettuccine

  • Equipment
  • Large frying pan/skillet
  • A deep sided frying pan or sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, bacon and garlic Stir to coat in the oil and then cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, wine, tomato purée/tomato paste, bay leaf, herbs and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

  4. Heat the remaining oil in a deep frying pan or sauté pan, over a medium heat and, when hot, add the beef with the pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes to brown the meat.

  5. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.

  6. Stir in the sauce, bring everything to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. Serve with fettuccini.

Updated March 29, 2017