Why kids love pasta, I have no idea. But they do. Place of bowl of pasta in front of them and most kids will react as though they’re being presented with a special treat. Even adults are not immune from the charms of a beguiling pasta dish. Perhaps, it’s the excitement of twirling the noodles around the fork. Perhaps, it’s the way the thick shimmery sauce coats each noodle strand — and then, in a somewhat mischievous manner, drips off a bit when each forkful of noodles is lifted. Perhaps, it’s the grated cheese on top. Or, perhaps, it is the association with parties, fun and games, and the warm memories that they evoke of sultry summer afternoons in the backyard.
I love pasta. Even as an adult. It is unpretentious and uncomplicated. Eating pasta does not require special cutlery nor any remarkable knife skills. Pasta and the more formal table etiquette don’t seem to go together. And yet, pasta is “adult” enough to be paired with a good bottle of wine.
Oh, I can go on and on and write a litany about the virtues of pasta and not run out of words. But if I did, we’ll never get to the recipe part. So, I’ll stop here. Let’s just sum up those virtues in one phrase — pasta is a feel-good dish. Like a grandmother’s soup. Or a cup of coffee or tea. It is comforting and reassuring.
So, let me now tell you about this pasta dish. Made with ordinary ingredients yet the result was anything but ordinary. Beef and spicy sausages, garden-fresh oregano stripped from their stalks, chopped tomatoes and cream, cheese…
The meaty part of this pasta dish consists of spicy sausage meat and ground beef. Sausages were slit, the casings were discarded and the sausage meat was crumbled.
The sausage meat and ground beef were browned, chopped onions were added everything was cooked together until the onion pieces were soft.
Next, the diced tomatoes are poured in. Fresh oregano is added.
The meat is braised in the sauce until reduced. Cream is added at the last stage.
The sauce was ladled on cooked pasta and the dish was garnished with cheese and parsley.
And that’s my mighty meaty pasta with tomato cream sauce!
Mighty meaty pasta with tomato cream sauce
- 225 grams pasta I suggest spaghetti, linguini or fettuccine, cooked al dente
For the sauce
- grated cheese
- flat-leaf parsley or sweet basil chopped
- Slit the skins of the sausages, peel off and discard. Pull the meat part into small pieces.
- Heat the olive oil. Add the beef and sausage meat. Cook until no longer pink.
- Add the chopped onion, stir and cook until the meat is lightly browned and the onion bits start to turn translucent.
- No garlic? Whether or not garlic should be added depends on the kind of sausage you’re using. If using a spicy and garlicky variety, adding more garlic might be overkill. So, I’ll leave the garlic part to you.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Strip the oregano leaves off their stalks directly on top.
- Stir. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Pour in the cream.
- Stir and boil gently, uncovered to prevent curdling, for about a minute. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
- To serve, place some cooked pasta on a plate or shallow bowl. Ladle a generous amount of sauce and meat over the noodles. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Garnish with parsley or basil.
- Have a lovely meal.