This has got to be one of my favourite childhood dishes. It is simply braised beef with the spaghetti, or other pasta of your liking, added to the same pot. Italians will tell you an abundance of water is needed to cook pasta, but it is simply not true. In fact some pastas boiled in less water create a bigger amount of starch which is then used to thicken the sauce you add the pasta to. Insert eyeroll from my Italian friends, lol. My mother did however break the pasta in half to facilitate it fitting in the pot in one go. The less liquid you add the better as too much water will dilute the flavour too much. Any pasta works so pictured below I actually used linguine instaed of spaghetti only because it is what I had at home. Recipe is the same. I do add a few personal touches to my mom's original recipe, Port and ginger, which I feel really turn this humble dish into something extraordinary. I hope you enjoy.
Carne Guisada com Esparguete Ervilhas e Cenouras ❦ Portuguese One Pot Braised Beef with Spaghetti Carrots and Peas
600 g. Beef chuck, cut into bite size cubes
500 g. Dried spaghetti, preferably brand name ( store brand doesn't impress me)
400 g. (1 can) good quality Italian chopped tomatoes, undrained
400 g. Frozen garden peas, thawed
1 Onion, medium peeled and chopped
2 Large carrots, cut into rounds
4 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
80 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
30 ml. White or red wine vinegar
50 ml. Port wine, I used Tawny Port but Ruby works well too
200 ml. Dry white wine
350 ml. Good quality beef stock, store bought or home made
1 tin/can Good quality Italian chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 tbsp. Tomato paste
1 tsp. Sweet paprika, pimentón dulce
1 tsp. Ground ginger ( do not omit, this is the star)
1 whole red bird's eye chilli, whole (optional)
Course sea salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed to taste
Italian flat leaf parsley to garnish, to taste
In a large pot on high heat, add extra virgin olive and once hot, add beef and about 1 tbsp. of course sea salt, browning and searing meat. Add onions and garlic and fry on high for several minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Once onions are soft and gain a little colour, about 3-4 minutes.
Lower heat to low. Add garlic, bay leaves, ginger, paprika, tomato paste and chilli if using. Sauté while stirring to caramelise tomato paste a bit. Deglaze pot with Port wine, scraping bottom to get all the lovely brown bits. Add white wine, canned tomatoes and beef stock.
Cover with vented lid and simmer on low for 40-50 minutes, or until meat is tender. After 40 minutes, add carrots and cook for 10 more minutes. After 10 minutes add peas and pasta.
Add pasta spacing and pushing it into the broth. Add a little water to only cover the pasta, you do not want to dilute the sauce too much. See photo
Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on low stirring once or twice. Pasta will take about 14 minutes to cook to al dente on a low simmer. Discard bay leaves.
Serve immediatly sprinkled with parsley