This is a variation of a great childhood favourite of mine as I loved crunching on the cheesey pasta topping. The crispier the pasta and cheese the better it tasted to me! It was also the first dish I ever cooked for my husband in our tiny little basement flat in London. He enjoyed it so much he had three helpings!
Like all old recipes it has evolved over the years and I now prefer using less pork but sometimes add chorizo if I am looking for a more robust flavoured sauce. If you wish to stick to my Mum’s original recipe, leave out the chorizo and double the amount of pork given below. Although I often prefer using fresh tomatoes for pasta sauces, this sauce needs to have sufficient liquid to stop the pasta drying out in oven, so I tend to use passatta as it helps to keep the centre of the dish nice and moist.
Baked Pork And Chorizo Pasta
Prep to Plate: Prep: 40 mins Total cooking time: 30 mins
Ingredients: (for 2 people)
- 500gms penne rigate
- 1 pork loin (thinly sliced as if stir frying.)
- 1 chorizo (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium onion
- 150 gms mushrooms (peeled)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 carrot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 jar of Passatta (680 gms)
- 50 gms Parmesan or other grating cheese
- 1/2 tspn chopped ginger
- 1 tbspn chopped oregano and basil
- 1 tspn pimentón (or paprika)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- cup of red wine
- *Prepare sauce by peeling,dicing and frying the onion, red pepper, carrots, mushrooms and garlic until soft. Add red wine and reduce down.
- Add the pork and chorizo slices to the pan and cook for another minute (to seal the pork.)
- Add passatta, herbs, ginger, pimentón, salt and pepper and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Then set to one side.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta in a separate pan until it is just al dente
- Before draining pasta, stir a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta’s cooking water into your tomato sauce.
- Now drain pasta, shaking well to get rid of any excess water.
- Stir pasta into sauce to coat evenly.
- Transfer pasta into a large oven-proof dish
- Cover top of pasta with a layer of grated parmesan.
- Cook near top of a preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crispy.
- Serve with a green salad.
*Top Tip: You can also try the Spanish way by frying chorizo first in order to infuse the oil with those yummy smoky flavours. Set the chorizo to one side and continue with recipe as above, frying the rest of the vegetables and meat. The chorizo can then be added to the sauce when mixing with the pasta.
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