I grew up loving this pasta recipe and now it has become my child’s favourite too. My grandmother used to cook the meat sauce and half-cooked pasta together in layers, rather than cooking the pasta and pouring the meat sauce on top when serving. Each way is delicious, but by layering the sauce and the pasta I find that there is greater taste and each piece of pasta is enveloped in the gorgeous flavours of the sauce.
Everyone has a favourite shape of pasta for different dishes, right? Mine is fusilli and spaghetti for meat sauces and I tend to use penne and farfalle for vegetarian or creamy sauces and pasta salads. But that’s just me. You can choose most types of pasta to cook in this recipe and it will still be scrumptious!
750g beef mince
500g fusilli, penne, farfalle or spaghetti pasta
1 large grated carrot
1 white onion, chopped finely
2 – 3 cloves garlic, crushed
5 tbsp tomato puree
1 can chopped tomato
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
- Chop the onion and fry in olive oil until golden. Add the mince beef and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and fry for a further few minutes.
- Add the grated carrots, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Pour enough water to cover the meat mixture and let boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer for 30 – 40 mins and put the lid on the pan.
- Once cooked, you will be left with a thick tomato sauce ready for the pasta. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- For the pasta, fill a large pan with water and let it boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Once boiling, pour in the pasta. Drain the water when the pasta is half cooked.
- In another large pan, drizzle a little olive oil on a low heat. Pour a little of the meat sauce to lightly cover the base of the pan. Add a layer of pasta, more sauce on top and then another layer of pasta. Keep alternating the layers between the pasta and the sauce until you are left with the sauce on top of the pan.
- Put the lid on and cook on a low heat for 25 mins.
- Mix the layers together before serving and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.