Meatball Pasta Bake

Ingredients

300g Fusilli
400g Meatballs, fresh, frozen or home-made
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 cans Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
300ml Beef Stock, or a stock cube in 300ml hot water
A pinch Sugar
2 teaspoons Mixed Dried Herbs such as Oregano & Basil
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
100g Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Cook Italia Grated Hard Cheese

Method

First cook the Meatballs: preheat the oven to 180OC, 160OC fan, gas mark 4. Place the meatballs in an ovenproof dish on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes.

Then make the Sauce whilst the meatballs are browning:

Warm the Olive Oil in a large pan on a medium heat, and then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not burnt.

Add the Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Purée and beef stock, sugar and herbs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly, cover with a lid and let it simmer gently whilst you cook the Pasta.

Cook the Pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes.  When it is how you like it – ‘al dente’, or slightly softer – drain the Pasta.

Remove the meatballs from the oven (but leave the oven on) and drain off the fat. Add the meatballs to the Tomato sauce, and stir together, gently.

Place the drained Pasta in an ovenproof dish, add the meatball sauce and stir. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar and Grated Italian Cheese.

Bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the topping is golden, then serve and feel the shared warmth of a delicious meal whatever the weather.




Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

300g Spaghetti
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely diced
1 Medium Carrot, finely diced
1 stick Celery, finely diced
400g Minced Beef
2 cans Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Italian Cheese

Optional Basil: half a teaspoon of dried basil, or a good handful of fresh. (Many recipes say no herbs, but if you like them, add them in!)

Method

First, make the Bolognese:

Warm the Olive Oil in a pan on a medium heat, then add the onion, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until softened but not burnt.

Crumble the minced beef into the pan, and stir to brown the meat. Season and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Purée and a pinch of salt and pepper, and dried basil if using, then turn the heat down and cover the pan, and cook on a low heat so that it’s bubbling gently. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it looks too dry, and leave to simmer for another few minutes whilst you cook the pasta.

Cook the Pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to12 minutes. When the Pasta is how you like it – ‘al dente’, or slightly softer – drain the Pasta.

Now, choose either:

The Italian way: add the sauce to the hot, drained Pasta, mix them together then serve.

The British way: put the hot, drained Pasta onto the plate then top with a generous serving of sauce on top. If using fresh basil, discard the stalks and tear up the leaves to scatter them on top.

Sprinkle with Grated Italian Cheese for the truly Italian touch.

 




Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Ingredients

350g Spaghetti
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Anchovy fillets
1 clove Garlic, crushed
1 can Cook Italia Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Cook Italia Tomato Purée
2 tablespoons Capers, drained
1 Red Chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons Black Olives, sliced or chopped
1 handful Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
The juice of 1 Lemon
A pinch Salt and Black Pepper
A good sprinkling Cook Italia Grated Italian Cheese

Method

Cook the Pasta in a large pan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, for 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the Olive Oil in a pan on a medium heat, then add the garlic and cook for one minute.

Add the anchovy fillets and chilli and cook for about 3 minutes until the anchovy fillets fall apart.

Carefully add the Chopped Tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then allow to bubble for about 5 minutes.

Add the Tomato Purée, capers, olives and lemon juice, and mix well, and let it come back to a simmer for about 2 minutes.

Check the Pasta … when it is how you like it – ‘al dente’, or slightly softer – drain the Pasta.

Remove the sauce from the heat, and tip the Pasta into the sauce then mix until the Pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce.

Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top and serve immediately with black pepper and a sprinkling of Grated Italian Cheese for a final flourish.