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Pork and Pasta Bake

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Serves: 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
55g / 2 oz pancetta or rindless streaky bacon, chopped
115g / 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
450g / 1 Ib fresh pork mince
125ml / 4 fl oz dry white wine
4 tbsp passata
200g / 7 oz canned chopped tomatoes
2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried sage
225g / 8 oz dried elicoidali
140g / 5 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
300ml / 10 fl oz hot Bechamel Sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas Mark 6. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 2 minutes. Add the pork and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned all over. Stir in the wine, passata, chopped tomatoes and their can juices and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large, heavy-based saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite.

Spoon the pork mixture into a large oven proof dish. Stir the mozzarella and half the Parmesan cheese into the Bechamel Sauce. Drain the pasta and stir the sauce into it, then spoon it over the pork mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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