Monday, May 23, 2011

Pasta and Beans with Pork Ragu

This dish is suprisingly delicious despite the fact that the name really doesn't sound that appealing. My husband saw the recipe book open to the page with Spaghetti Carbonara opposite this one and asked hopefully, which one are we having? But then all of us gobbled up a big bowl!

This recipe is from The Thrifty Kitchen by Suzanne and Kate Gibbs. I keep pork mince in the freezer so had everything on hand to make this for dinner tonight without any planning.

Pasta and Beans with Pork Ragu
serves 4 (made enough for 4 adult serves plus 4 mini-kid serves)
250g pasta shells or other small shape
1/4 C olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 zucchini, diced (optional - my personal addition to add more vegies)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems finely chopped, leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano or handful fresh oregano, chopped
500g pork mince
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3C black olives, stones removed and chopped
1/2 C chicken stock (optional)
salt and pepper
parmesan grated to serve
dried chilli to serve (optional)

Cook the pasta until just under done (2 minutes less than cooking time), as it will keep cooking when you add it to the sauce.

Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium heat and fry onion, carrot, zucchini, parsley stems, garlic and oregano for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Increas the heat to high, add pork mince and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up any lumps. Add the tomatoes, beans, olives (or add these to individual bowls if you have any olive haters) and chicken stock (if it looks a bit dry), stir and simmer for 5 -1 0 minutes until the sauce is thick and fragrant, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the drained pasta and the parsley leaves to the pan and toss for another minute, over medium heat, then serve immediately with plenty of grated parmesan. We also served with a sprinkle of dried chilli for the adults.

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