The sauce for this dish makes 5 meal serves so it becomes economical and quick after you've cooked a batch of sauce to make additional bakes. The bake is a rustic, spicy, mince based penne pasta dish which is perfect for a no frills family dinner.
500g lean lamb mince
500g lean beef mince steak
6 rashers smoked bacon, very finely diced
2 large onions, very finely diced
3 (400g) tins diced tomatoes
4 sprigs basil, finely diced
2 or 3 red chillies finely diced, seeds intact
250g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, diced, reserve the oil
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne peppeer
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
250g uncooked Penne pasta or macaroni
100g parmesan, grated
100g mozzarella cheese, grated
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In a large saucepan with lid place 3 tablespoons of olive oil saved from the sun dried tomatoes. Fry the lamb and beef mince , onions, bacon and chillies until the meat is brown and the onions soft. (Break up any lumps of mince during this process). Drain off any excess fat if necessary.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spices and 3/4 of the basil. Stir to combine and saute 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Fill one of the tomato tins with water and add to the sauce. Simmer for 45-60 minutes until the tomato sauce is a thickish constituency (i.e. no watery tomato sauce on the surface but still juicy). Check flavour and adjust as necessary.
Divide sauce into 5 portions. Keep one portion out and freeze the rest.
Cook pasta so it is just past al dente; soft but not soggy. Drain well and add 1 teaspoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the remaining basil. (Optional: Add 1 teaspoon chilli paste or similar at this point depending on how spicy you like things). Stir to combine.
Add 1 portion of the sauce into pasta and stir thoroughly.
Transfer to large lasagne type dish and level out. Don't squash down. Top evenly with parmesan first and then the mozzarella.