THE Baked Pasta Dish

    1 hour 30 min

    This is a rustic Spanish, spicy, mince based baked penne pasta dish which is perfect for a no-frills family supper. It has come about through trial and error in an attempt to replicate a dish that I ate in a Spanish farmhouse some 15 years ago. In our family it is simply called THE Pasta Dish. The sauce makes 5 portions and so it becomes economical and quick after you've cooked the batch of sauce.

    Cheshire, England, UK
    142 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • Meat Sauce
    • 450g (1lb) lean minced lamb
    • 450g (1lb) lean minced beef steak
    • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, very finely chopped
    • 2 large Spanish onions, very finely chopped
    • 3 (400g) tins quality chopped plum tomatoes
    • 2 handfuls fresh basil, finely chopped
    • 2 or 3 red chillies finely chopped, seeds intact
    • 1 (250ml) jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped (NB: save the oil)
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne peppeer
    • 1 tsp hot paprika
    • 1 tbsp tomato puree
    • Pasta
    • 225g (1/2 lb) uncooked Penne pasta (macaroni works just as well)
    • Topping
    • Generous portion (4-6 handfuls) grated mozarella cheese
    • Generous portion (2-3 handfuls) quality Parmesan

    Prep:1hr15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

    1. Pre-heat oven to 230 degrees c.
    2. For the Sauce: In a large stock pot (with lid) place 3 tbsp olive oil (saved from the sun dried tomatoes). Fry the minced lamb and beef, onions, bacon and chillies until the meat is brown and the onions soft. (Break up any lumps of mince during this process). Drain off any excess fat if necessary.
    3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spices and 3/4 of the basil. Stir to combine and saute 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
    4. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Fill one of the tomato tins with water and add to the sauce. Simmer for 45-60 minutes until the tomato sauce is a thickish constituency (i.e no watery tomato sauce on the surface but still juicy). Check flavour and adjust as necessary.
    5. Divide sauce into 5 portions. Keep one portion out and freeze the rest.
    6. Cook pasta so it is just past al dente (soft but not soggy!). Drain well and add 1 x tsp tomato puree, 1 x tbs olive oil (or more oil from the sun-dried tomatoes), and the remaining basil. (Optional: Add 1 x tsp chilli paste or similar at this point depending on how spicey you like things!). Stir to combine.
    7. Add 1 portion of the sauce and stir into pasta thouroughly.
    8. Transfer to large lasagne type dish and level out (but don't squash down). Top evenly with parmesan first and then the mozarella.
    9. Bake in oven until mozarella browned.

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    Reviews in English (14)


    Altered ingredient amounts. I added 2 clovers of garlic  -  19 Jul 2010


    Altered ingredient amounts. No seeds from chillies  -  06 Mar 2010


    Really delicious. Wanted something different to cook with mince and pasta. Will definitely make this again. Only used minced beef though as had no minced lamb. Used dried chillies.  -  15 Jun 2012