This little gem of a dish I present to you, was discovered on the increasingly life-critical entity that is Facebook, or as I affectionately refer to it: Procrastination’s Playground! I hadn’t realised (until now) quite how much Facebook has completely and utterly indulged my food obsession (honestly, anyone who loves food will love this). And after trying this stupendously tasty dish, I am eternally grateful.
Although I occasionally whine about my Facebook page being dominated by needless weather reports or commentaries on TV programmes that I don’t watch, there is one topic that my friends consistently update (much to my joy): what they’re having for their dinner!
Some people get their kicks from finding out celebrity gossip, or who’s being booted off the X Factor stage (or jungle, or dance-floor, or ice-rink…). But if one of my friends post about their Sunday Roast, you will be sure to find a wee comment from myself underneath, enquiring about the juicy details. Sad, perhaps. Even somewhat perverse, but I love it.
My friend Heather recently posted a status update about having made a big pot of Marsetti. I’d never heard of it before (so googled it, of course!) and found loads of different recipes for it. Heather was kind enough to give me her version, and I will certainly not be looking to adapt it; it’s perfect and ridiculously tasty.
Heather doesn’t use measurements, but here’s what I used if you need a guideline:
Ingredients (serves 4):
Penne pasta shells (enough for 4 people; I used about 400g)
2 onions, diced finely
250g button mushrooms, sliced thinly (for the mushie-phobes out there!)
500g lean beef steak mince
1 tin condensed tomato soup
1 tin condensed chicken soup
2 tbsp dried mixed herbs (a mix of thyme, marjoram, parsley, oregano, sage & basil)
2 bay leaves
50g mature cheddar, grated
First brown the mince, then add the onions.
Once the onions start looking transparent, add the two tins of soup, the mixed herbs and the bay leaves. Let it simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn at the bottom!
Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions in some well-salted, boiling water (I’ve started adding a touch of olive oil to the water too, after seeing Ina Garten do it on Barefoot Contessa. I forget the reasoning behind it, but it’s your call whether you want to or not).
Take out the bay leaves and add your mushrooms to the mince:
Drain your cooked pasta, and take the heat off the mince. Stir in the grated cheese (mmm… cheesy goodness), and season well with salt and pepper.
Stir in the pasta shells and mix thoroughly. Then prepare your taste-buds for a treat.
This is so tasty, words do not do it justice! It set me up nicely before attending my cousin Claire’s 18th birthday party (Happy Birthday, honey bunch!), and it was even more comforting the next day, when I was feeling rather tender and wanting to stuff my face!
Heather, I’ve got my eye on your “Chicken Divan” recipe next!