One meal that I did manage to make was a Three Meat Ragu. I've given you a recipe for a ragu before - you know - the "posh" pasta sauce. Assemble it and forget about it for a couple of hours, then serve with pasta. Well this recipe took my fancy as it had three different kinds of meat in it - chicken, pork and beef!! So I gave it a go, and it was great - lots of flavour - they all loved it. Who can ask for more?
Three Meat Ragu Pasta Bake
300g chicken thigh fillets, fat trimmed, cut into 3cm cubes
300g beef chuck steak, fat trimmed, cut into 3cm cubes
300g pork scotch fillet, fat trimmed, cut into 3cm cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, quartered
1/4 red wine
1 cup chicken stock
400ml tomato puree
2tbs tomato paste
250g tortiglioni pasta *
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 grated pecorino cheese
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat, brown the meats in batches. Transfer to a bowl.
Reheat the pan with a small amount of oil, and add onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the wine, cook stirring for 1 minute, or until the wine comes to the boil.
Return the meats to the pan. Add the stock, tomato puree and tomato pasta. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Remove the lid and simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or until the meat is lovely and tender. (I actually cooked mine for closer to 2 hours - with the lid partially off - worked out great!)
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to pack directions. Drain. Combine the pasta and meat sauce. Spoon mixture into a large casserole dish that has been lightly greased. Sprinkle cheeses on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden.
* Tortiglioni pasta is a large tubular pasta that is usually used with chunky sauces or in casseroles.
This dish is a great dish to have bubbling away while you are out at sport or whatever, all you need to do when you come in is boil the pasta then bake - if it is all hot it really doesn't take too long in the oven.