Just when I think that it's getting all summery, it turns cold again. Luckily, I've got a whole swag of warm winter stewy-type meals sitting here in the drafts folder waiting to tickle your saliva glands, but this one ought to go down just as well for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who have started to feel autumn biting around your ankles.
This recipe was inspired by my friend Jenni's trip to Rarotonga, where she had a dish that sounded so good I just had to try it out myself.
Fortuitously, the same day I read that post we had somehow ended up with two lots of meat defrosted, which is not like us at all, and both had to be used up or one would have to be thrown out. The Stephano's Spaghetti Bolognaise with Bacon was obviously just meant to be.
Of course, not having been there myself, all I really had to go off was the name, and the rest I just made up. The cherry tomatoes, for example, were only in the fridge because a certain 2-year-old had got hold of the packet in the supermarket and started eating them, forcing Dessert Chef to buy them. As it turns out, they might have been the best bit.
So thanks to Jenni for the inspiration, and to my boy for the odd choice of unsanctioned supermarket snacks.
300g Beef Mince
Freshly Ground Pepper and Salt
1T Balsamic Vinegar
1T Worcester Sauce
1/2t Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1t Dried Thyme or 1T Fresh Thyme Leaves
4T Tomato Paste
Olive Oil for Frying
1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
4 Rashers Bacon, chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
150g Mushrooms, peeled and sliced
1 Punnet Cherry Tomatoes
Heat oil in a pan, add the mince and brown. Season with salt and pepper, vinegar, worcester, nutmeg, and thyme. Cook these flavours into the meat, then add the tomato paste and reduce. Cook until the moisture is absorbed, then add the tinned tomatoes. Mix the bacon and garlic, then fry until crispy. Put your pasta in to cook at this point.
Add the mushrooms to the mince to heat through.
Rinse a handful of cherry tomatoes.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the bacon pan for just a couple of minutes at the end, enough time to soften and warm a little. Toss well in the garlicky salty goodness of the bacon.
Mix the bacon and tomatoes into the mince at the end, then dish over long pasta, dressed with freshly grated parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Then tell me if it tastes like Rarotonga.