Beef Ragout with Rigatoni and Black Olive Salsa

A deep rich ragout, coating a soft yet firm rigatoni pasta, sweet yellow peppers and a simple salsa that seems out of place but actually combines so well you wont want to eat ragu again without it.

So lets start with the basics. I have mentioned before my love of Rigatoni pasta, it’s size and shape are perfect for sauces like this ragu. It grabs the sauce and holds onto it, and this is a sauce you want it to hold onto. It’s hearty, warming, smooth and rich. This, like most pasta and sauce dishes is where you really notice the quality of your ingredients. From the tomato purée to the beef stock the better the quality the richer the flavour. A note on the stock, I am not against the stock cubes you get I have used them all my life and will continue to use them day to day. However, If you are making something a bit more special then i’d recommeng using what i call jelly stocks. I find the flavour richer and deeper.

Before I talk about the salsa I just want to mention that for these photo’s I used my Panasonic Lumix G10. The sharpness and the quality of the photo is much better but I am struggling to get enough light. I will keep playing with it and hopefully crack it soon.

The salsa was literally tomatoes, black olives, basil and olive oil. It felt wrong adding a cold salsa to a hot soul warming ragu. The first mouthful however showed just how right it was. The cold crisp taste of the tomatoes cut through the deep flavour of the beef and sauce. The black olives added a bitterness to it that worked in ways I don’t even know how to describe. In my head they shouldn’t work in this meal but they do. They really do.

This meal was from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Strolling Rigatoni with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

I cannot take credit for this, my wife actually cooked this one, but I had to post it. What a surprise, we have been putting this one off all week thinking that it was not as good as any of the others and.. Well.. Looked a bit bland. How wrong we were, every ingredient in the bowl complemented each other. She did add bacon and green beans to use them up but even they seemed to to sing the same song as the original ingredients. The tomatoes and the peppers were roasted in the oven which in my book is the best way to cook both ingredients. Olives are another ingredient like lentils that have worked their way into my favourite ingredients. Thankfully my wife doesn’t like them which is why you can see so many in my bowl.