The weathers a changing, time for some Autumn comfort food and using my favourite slow cooker. The one I’ve got is a Morphy Richards and it’s just terrific as the pan is metal so you can sauté, sear and cook everything in one pan! Sounds good eh? Only trouble is it doesn’t work on my induction hob so had to use a frying pan to begin, stupid gas hob playing up yet again….
1 finely diced red onion, 1 finely diced white onion, 2 fat cloves of chopped garlic, a couple of de seeded red or green peppers, as many chopped mushrooms as you like until softened in a little olive oil. (I also tend to add chopped leeks, finely chopped celery, grated carrots and courgettes – boost the veg intake and flavour but it’s not to everyone’s liking perhaps?)
Remove from pan, fry 250g of minced beef together with 250g of minced pork until browned. Add a generous glass and a half of red wine and simmer for a couple of minutes. In goes a generous tblsp of tomato puree (if like me you’re in Italian waters please buy their amazing homemade tomato purée available in delis and markets everywhere, you won’t be disappointed!), a tin of chopped tomatoes, a bottle of tomato “sugo” (sauce), lots of black pepper, a stock cube and a couple of tblsp of fresh oregano. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
Combine everything together in slow cooker if you have one. Failing that pop in a saucepan or in an oven proof dish covered with foil and cook for as long as you can on low heat. Mine went in the slow cooker for 6 hours, cooking slowly really intensifies the flavours so you end up with a gloriously thick sauce.
A note on cooking pasta, infinitely the best way. Cook as per packet instructions, drain but keep a ladle full of the cooking water. Toss pasta in a little butter, add chopped parsley and then loosen with a little of the cooking liquid. Doing this ensures the pasta doesn’t stick together and is beautifully silky.
To finish, obvious really. Lots of beautiful freshly grated parmasan cheese, extra chopped parsley and a big bowl of tossed salad leaves dressed with balsamic and peppery extra virgin olive oil on the side.