Monday, February 8, 2016


Winter is here and it is definitely the time for Sunday roasts. I loved the sound of this recipe as it also included pasta. It is inspired by a dish called "macaronde" which was bought to France by the emigrants from Italy. I have a phobia against proper roasts due to bad childhood memories so this alternative is right up my street! It took just over an hour but this depends entirely on how you like your beef done - we like ours medium rare.

Ingredients for 4 people:

2 tbsp olive oil
900g British rump, sirloin or topside beef joint
350g rigatoni or similar shaped pasta
3 garlic cloves, crushed
450g vine-ripened baby plum tomatoes, halved
Large handful fresh basil leaves, torn - we used about 30g
100ml good quality robust red wine (I just used what we had…..which wasnt very good quality)!
100g hard cheese such as Parmesan (we also added some grated cheese as we are cheese addicts)
Sea salt flakes

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C (fan) / gas mark 6.

Rub a tablespoon of olive oil over the beef and season. 

Roast for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 170 C / 150 C (fan) / gas mark 3.5 and roast for a further 40 minutes or so according to the size of your joint and how you like it cooked. It will explain on the packet instructions. The best way to check the beef is to use a digital thermometer - it should read 55 C for rare and 65 C for well done…I didnt actually have one though!

While this is cooking prepare the ingredients for the pasta. 

About 10 minutes before the beef is done, start on the pasta. Cook according to the packet instructions until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan over a high heat and add the garlic. Once it starts sizzling, add the tomatoes. I actually added them at the same time as I didnt read the recipe properly but I dont think made a difference.

Once most of the juices have evaporated, remove from the heat and toss in the basil.

By now the beef should be ready. Transfer the beef onto a plate and cover loosely with foil.

Add the wine to the juices in the roasting tin and bubble over a high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the tin.

Drain the pasta, saving a little bit of cooking water.

In a bowl or dish mix together the juices from the roasting tin, the pasta, the tomato, garlic and basil mix, the cheese and a splash of pasta water. Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Finally sprinkle the beef with sea salt and thinly slice. Serve with the pasta and garnish with a couple of extra basil leaves and shavings of Parmesan.

This was very good - I loved the combination of the tomato and basil pasta with the beef. It was kind of like a very smart posh spag bol! Plus it something different as well. Arabella loved the pasta but wasnt as keen on the beef but I think that is just because she is not that used to it, we rarely have steak or anything at home. She did eat it all though as did I. I think it would be a good idea for a dinner party too - a real winner - and actually great for summer and winter!

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