Food is such an emotional experience on many levels and is a powerful way of passing on family traditions. As a child, I remember walking into my mother’s kitchen, talking about my day, while she listened and slowly stirred the tomatoes. My memories are bound with scents, smells, feelings, emotions and a lot of these were based around the kitchen and cooking.
All of these experiences are what connects us to our heritage, and in my case, my Italian roots – which I treasure so dearly. I love to keep this connection now with my own daughter, as my mother had with her Italian Mother-in-Law, and from recipes come words, and words, come conversations and we are all bound by the one thing – love of our heritage, where we came from and what makes us who we are today.
So this recipe honours my family traditions and is an ode to my own mother for all the wonderful things we shared.
What you will need:
500g of red wine sauce
500g premium beef mince
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves
1 x 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup of virgin olive oil
Italian herbs – at least 2- 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons of sugar
- Chop up your brown onion (in slices, long ways, then flip the board around, and slice the onion even smaller).
- Chop your two garlic cloves finely.
- Place a quarter cup of olive oil in the sauce-pan.
- Pour in the red wine sauce (500g jar) and can of diced tomatoes (400g can) and stir with a wooden spoon to mix well.
- Sprinkle in Italian herbs and spices to cover the top layer of the sauce.
- Fill the empty jar of the red wine sauce with ¼ cup of hot water, shake up the jar and pour the contents back into the sauce pot. (This breaks down the intense tomato taste).
- I grab a tablespoon of tomato paste, and pop that into the pot and stir it through.
- Add your 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir.
- Add a few shakes of salt and pepper, place the sauce pot on a low heat so it can simmer for an hour and a half to 2 hours.
- With just a dash of oil in a frying pan, slightly brown your onion and then place it aside. (No need to go over board and go to brown as this onion will actually cook whilst simmering in the tomato sauce).
- While the onions are cooking, place the chopped garlic into the simmering sauce pot.
- When the onions are slightly browned, pop them into the sauce pot as well.
- Add a dash of olive oil to your pan and then cook your beef mince on medium heat – stir consistently and separate the meat with a spatula as you go so it does not all clump together in heaps.
- Once the meat is a light brown colour (don’t overcook it as it will dry it out) place it straight into the sauce pot.
- Boil a pot of water and drop the pasta into the bubbling water, time it for 11 minutes.
- Stir the pasta occasionally so it does not stick together.
- When the timer buzzes, remove the pot of water from the heat and drain the pasta straight away, just taking it off the heat and leaving it still in the boiling water means the pasta continues to cook.
- Make sure the tap is already running hot and use the hot water to drain off the excess starch from the pasta and separate the pasta with a clean wooden spoon.
- Let it sit so the pasta can drain well.
Plate up the pasta (penne/spaghetti any of your choice) with the lovely home-made sauce on top and some freshly grated parmesan.
NOTE: And for mincemeat left overs the next day, you can toast two pieces of sour dough bread, buttered lightly and reheated mince meat sauce on top makes a delicious lunch.
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