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I have a quick, easy, yet highly tasty supper recipe to share today. I think most families factor pasta on the menu at least once a week. You certainly won’t be disappointed by adding this one to yours. It’s a classic example of simple ingredients and flavours, working together in perfect harmony – as is often the case in Italian cookery, I find.

This one comes, once more, from Gino D’Acampo’s fabulous book ‘Gino’s Pasta’. In actual fact, on flicking through, there isn’t one recipe that I don’t want to experiment with. That’s pretty good going in my opinion. So…second dish in and another triumph. We chose to make it without the chilli to please the kids and it still packed a flavour punch. I can only imagine how good it would have been if we had included it. We will next time. The full ingredients list and cooking method can be found in the book.

To make our version of this meal (serves four) you will need:
– Five tablespoons of EV olive oil
– One onion (peeled/chopped)
– 80g of pitted black olives
– One red chilli (deseeded/finely chopped – we left this out)
– 80g of sun-dried tomatoes (drained/finely chopped)
– 300g of pork mince
– 300g of passata
– 400g of Conchiglie pasta (dried)
– Salt and black pepper to taste

Method:
– Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and olives for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
– At this point add the chilli (if you’re using any) sun-dried tomatoes and pork mince. Fry for a further six minutes, breaking up the meat and stirring with a wooden spoon.
– Add the passata and gently simmer (uncovered) for fifteen minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt and set aside (off the heat).
– Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente.
– Drain well and add to the sauce. Mix everything together thoroughly over a low heat for thirty seconds, allowing the flavours to combine and the sauce to coat the pasta evenly.
– Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve immediately – without cheese!

This plate provides a really interesting flavour combination. Gino is also absolutely spot on in saying that it doesn’t need any cheese to finish it off. I think it would have only served to mask the array of strong, earthy tastes it has to offer.

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