Try out a this pasta bake that uses Risoni, a short cut pasta that looks like rice. And of course, don’t forget to add in the classic beef meatball.
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 500 g beef mince
- ⅓ cup basil leaves, chopped plus extra leaves to serve
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 400 g can diced tomatoes
- 2½ cups beef stock
- 1½ cups water
- 1½ cups risoni
- ½ cup flaked almonds
- Mixed salad, to serve
Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C.
In a large flameproof casserole dish, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium. Sautè onion and garlic 3 to 4 mins, until soft.
In a large bowl, combine onion mixture with mince, basil, breadcrumbs, ¼ cup cheese and egg. Season to taste. Mix well. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls.
In same pan, heat remaining oil on medium. Cook meatballs 4-5 mins, turning on all sides.
Stir in tomato paste, cooking 30 secs. Add diced tomatoes, stock and water. Bring to boil and add risoni. Bring to simmer. Bake in oven, covered, 10 mins.
Increase oven to very hot, 220 C. Sprinkle meatballs with remaining cheese and almonds. Bake 10 mins, until cheese melts. Serve with extra basil and mixed salad leaves.
Top Tip: Replace flaked almonds with any leftover chopped nuts or seeds you have on hand.
Photo: Rodney Macuja/Bauer