- May 2009
- Serves 6
- Takes 15 minutes to make, about 1¼ hours to cook, plus cooling, freezing, defrosting and reheating
This freeze-ahead macaroni pasta bake is Greek in origin, but we’ve given it an Italian twist
- 51.5g (30.1g saturated)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 rashers British, free-range streaky bacon, chopped
- 500g lean British beef mince
- 150ml marsala or madeira
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 500g pack macaroni or other short pasta
- 2 x 250g tubs mascarpone
- 50g grated parmesan or grana padano
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion, garlic and bacon for 5 minutes. Add the beef mince, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, and cook for 3 minutes more. Pour in the marsala or madeira and bubble rapidly for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, oregano and some salt and pepper, and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes until just about cooked but still firm in the centre. Drain well, reserving 100ml of the pasta water, then return to the pan.
- Tip half of the pasta into the meat sauce, season well and mix together, then turn out into a large ovenproof dish or individual dishes. Stir the mascarpone and parmesan or grana padano into the remaining pasta in the pan with the reserved pasta water, stirring until the melted mascarpone coats the pasta.
- Spoon the mascarpone-coated pasta into the dish/es. Bake for 20 minutes until the pasta is golden on top, then serve with a green salad and crusty bread.
Slightly undercook the pasta – it will finish cooking in the oven.
Assemble the pasta but don’t bake it. Cool completely, then wrap well in clingfilm and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost thoroughly and cook according to instructions, adding an extra 5-10 minutes if it needs it.
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