Tortellini with Chunky Beef Sauce
There’s nothing like a bowl of warm pasta and rich, tomato sauce on a cold rainy day. But I have a confession. I love pasta. I love it any time of day. Any day. Hot. Cold. Raining. Sun shining. I don’t care. Gimme pasta and guaranteed it’s I’ll lick the bowl clean.
This is my favourite way to cheat on myself. I mean, on my diet. I mean treat myself. Well, you know what I mean.
It could be that maybe the strong Italian Levi 501 Genes I have give me a special strong connection with pasta. Like a loyal bond. I don’t know. I could blame the culture thing, but I won’t. I’ll just leave it down to carbs. Pasta. Bread. Ooooh garlic bread slathered with butter melted fresh and hot outta the oven, crispy and crunchy when you bite into it, and soft and buttery on the inside.
And pasta. Wait, didn’t I already say that?
But then…this sauce. This sauce. So rustic. So rich with tomato flavours you could stand at the stove and eat it straight out of the pot.
I think adding the tender pieces of beef through the sauce is a smart way to fill up on protein, and-not-to-many-tortellinis. This is my mother’s secret. She would simmer the sauce with the beef in such a way that when you’re ready to eat, the beef fillets are so soft and tender and full of tomato sauce flavours that you kinda don’t want this to end.It’s definitely a unbuckle-your-pants-at-the-table meal. And a save-all-your-weekly-points-and-calories-for-this-one meals.
Any tortellini is fine to go with this one… The sauce kinda just adds to whatever flavour tortellini you love.
And when it’s all done, you won’t even need to fight over a serve. theres.so.much.food. There’s always leftovers when we break out into this kind of carb crazy. And that’s what I love about this. Because I’m guaranteed leftovers with some kind of sloppy joe the next day, or steamed broccoli and vegetables with the left over meat and sauce. So many possibilities with this sauce, it’s crazy.
Imagine coming home from school when you were little and the smell of this sauce floating down the street, pass the parks, over bridges, before hitting your nose. I knew when this sauce was coming. I could smell it from school. And I’d run home. The only time I would ever run is for this sauce.
My friends would hover around, waiting to be invited over for a carb session guaranteed to bust buttons off of our uniforms.
So, of course, I had to recreate it. I had to. And it’s one of those foods that take you back to your childhood the second you smell the home-style rustic cooking.
Sharing a piece of my table…and my memories..with you guys…
- 1x 625g | 22oz packet tortellini, any flavour
- 500g lean beef fillet (scotch or eye fillet), cut into palm-sized pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic (or 3 garlic cloves, minced)
- 1 red capsicum/bell pepper, seeded, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled, washed and chopped
- 500g | 1lbs lean ground beef mince
- 1x 420g | 15oz can condensed tomato soup (or crushed tomatoes/your favourite jar of pasta sauce)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder (I love Vegeta)
- Salt to season
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, divided
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve
- Cook pasta in a large saucepan/pot of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until just tender. Drain and return to saucepan.
- Meanwhile, in a separate large sized frying pan, fry the beef fillet in batches with cooking oil spray until browned on both sides and cooked to your liking. Remove from pan and keep warm. In the same pan, fry the onion, garlic, capsicum/peppers and carrot on medium heat until onion is transparent. Add the beef and cook stirring, while breaking up the mince. Once meat is browned, add the condensed soup (or sauce of choice), tomato paste and vegetable stock powder, and cook until sauce begins to thicken and ingredients are soft. (Pour in ¼ - ½ cup water if sauce is too thick). Add the pre-cooked beef fillets into the sauce, lower heat, and allow to simmer for a further 5 - 10 minutes (more for tougher cuts of fillet, until tender).
- Season with salt to suit your tastes and add half of the parsley. Turn off heat and pour the meat mixture into the same pan as the tortellini. Mix until combined.
- Sprinkle with cheese and extra parsley.
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