While looking for recipes I came across basically the same recipe three times. Well I am not one to look past fate. Pasta with Beef and Cheese was meant to be.
The first one was titled Inside out Ravioli. Found on a beautifully photographed blog called Taste and Tell. It made me think, what is in ravioli that can be on the outside? Cheese and spinach? I wasn’t left long to ponder, cause I came across this one next and started to plan.
I found Micheal Ruhlman’s Mac and Cheese on his itouch app, posted on the same day as I came across the inside out ravioli.
Inspired by both recipes and I made something in between, and found my own. I wish I had read the part in the Ruhlman recipe to cook the pasta till it was only half done, cause I think that would have taken it up a notch.
Inside Out and Mixed up Ravioli
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian Spice (a mix of oregano, basil etc)
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- (Ruhlman suggests fish sauce that I really wanted to use but forgot)
- 1L Tomato Sauce (with water spooned off)
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 2 cups raw spinach, wilted and chopped fine (nano fine, so the kids can’t identify it)
- 2 eggs whites (that’s all I had, but I think regular eggs would work better)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1lb or 454g macaroni
- 1 grated mozzarella ball (approximately 2 cups)
Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil, add the beef and cook stirring till it is no longer pink, spoon off fat, and add the tomato sauce, simmer to thicken.
Meanwhile boil the pasta according to instructions. This is where I wish I had remembered the part in the Ruhlman recipe to only cook the pasta till half done, and cook the rest in the sauce. Since I had not read this part, till the pasta was done, I decided to skim more water off the top of my sauce, and allow it to simmer to thicken.
Never to pass on an opportunity to use my Le Crueset, I mixed the whole thing together (pasta, meat sauce, 1/2 the cheese, and spinach, eggs, breadcrumbs), topped it with the rest of the cheese and drove over to my moms. Popped it in the oven for about 30min at 350F, and broiled for a few minutes to get the cheese nice and golden. Then we enjoyed it during out Mother’s Day Dinner.
The verdict: it was good, but I think I would change up the spices next time. The sauce was too close to my lasagna recipe, and I think I would like a slightly different flavour next time. I think smoked paprika, and fish sauce sound very interesting. The kids loved it, and we had the leftovers for lunch the next day. I will definitely be making variations of this to come for a long time!