On Wednesday I was working late and therefore had the morning off and so I decided to make a pasta bake for Alberto and I to have in the evening. Rather than my usual one with chicken and chorizo with a green presto base I decided to opt for one with pork mince instead. Like all pasta bakes it’s a fairly straightforward recipe, but tasty nonetheless. The leek I used goes particularly well with pork too.
This recipe makes four portions so we had a portion each for dinner, accompanied by tasty garlic bread, and that left us a portion each for lunch today. It’s easy to scale up or down as required though.
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
500g of pork mince
2-3 plump garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
2 large red onions, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced
½ a courgette, sliced and then quartered
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 generous glug of red wine
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 mozzarella ball, drained and sliced into 8 thick slices
2-3 tablespoons of Parmiggianio
300g of fresh pasta
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
A handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, until softened and starting to colour.
Add the mince and stir well to combine. Cook the mince until browned, using a spoon to break up any lumps so that it cooks evenly.
Once the mince is cooked through, add the leek, courgette and pepper and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the mixed herbs, basil leaves, chilli flakes and tomato puree and stir well to combine. Then stir in the chopped tomatoes and the red wine. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until it forms a thick, rich, tomato-y sauce. Season well with freshly ground salt and black pepper.
Whilst the meat sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in boiling water for a minute less than the instructions on the packet state. This means that the pasta is still al dente. Drain and set aside until the meat sauce is cooked.
Once the meat is cooked, stir in the drained pasta and mix well.
Pre-heat the oven to 200.
Transfer half of the meat and pasta sauce to a large, rectangular, oven-proof dish.
Place four of the mozzarella slices on the meat and pasta mixture then top with the remaining mixture.
Top with the remaining mozzarella slices and then sprinkle over the Parmiggiano.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so until bubbling and golden.