Slim pasta spirals called fusilli are delicious cooked in a casserole of beef and vegetables. The dried, uncooked pasta is added towards the end of the cooking time so that it retains its al dente texture while still absorbing the flavours of the meat, vegetables and oregano in the rich stew.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
350 g lean braising steak, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 litre beef or vegetable stock
3 large carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 small swede, about 400 g, chopped
250 g fusilli (pasta spirals)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and add the beef.
Brown the meat all over, stirring frequently.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan.
Add the onion to the casserole and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until it is softened.
Then add the tomatoes with their juice, the tomato paste, garlic and 600 ml of the stock.
Stir well and bring to the boil.
Return the beef to the casserole.
Add the carrots, celery and swede with seasoning to taste.
Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
Add the pasta and oregano with the remaining stock.
Bring to simmering point, then reduce the heat and cover the casserole.
Cook for 20–25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
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