Saturday, 5 September 2009

Beef and Tomato Pasta Shells

Pasta is a very common and healthy food item but is of course extremely bland without an accompanying and appropriate sauce. I prepared this beef and tomato pasta recipe for my dinner last night and found it to be absolutely delicious.

Ingredients (Serves Two)

1/2lb minced or ground beef
1 7oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
2 garlic cloves (crushed or very finely chopped)
2 cups of pasta shells
5 or 6 basil leaves (chopped) plus one extra to garnish
2 tsp grated or shredded cheddar or other hard cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Put the minced or ground beef in to a pot and brown it completely over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. This process should take two or three minutes. Add the garlic and the chopped tomatoes, bring up to the boil then turn the heat down until the sauce is at a low simmer. Cover and leave to cook, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Turn the heat down until the water is but simmering and cook for the period of time stipulated on the packet, stirring occasionally. Please note that it is a myth that adding oil to the water will prevent the pasta shells or any other type of pasta from sticking together. As most schoolchildren know, oil and water do not mix and the oil will simply form in a layer on top of the water. All this will achieve is to waste some perhaps very expensive oil!

A couple of minutes before the pasta is ready, stir the basil in to the sauce and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When the pasta is ready, drain it well and put it on to two plates. Spoon the sauce on top and garnish with the cheese and remaining basil.

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