This pasta dish appeals to me on so many levels.
It is so easy to cook.
It is so rustic.
It contains Rigiatoni. And I really like Rigiatoni.
It is so flexible – I substituted beef with pork and used chopped instead of whole tomatoes. You can even add some carrots or peas if you wish.
In my Dutch oven, I added some extra- virgin olive oil and sauteed the onions until they became soft and translucent.
Into this, I added minced garlic and continued to cook for a minute.
Since I forgot to buy minced beef, I used minced pork instead.
I cooked the minced pork until it was cooked through.
I added salt, black pepper and dried thyme.
And gave that a stir. Then in went the chopped tomatoes, since I did not have canned whole tomatoes.
The tomatoes were stirred to mix with the rest of the ingredients before I covered the Dutch oven with a lid and turned the heat to low.
This was cooked for about 30 minutes. I gave the contents a stir or two occasionally.
Once the sauce was ready, I cooked the Rigiatoni. I took 2 minutes off the recommended cooking time.
The Rigatoni was drained (reserve some pasta water) and placed into the Dutch oven. I stirred to combine the pasta with the sauce.
I added Parmesan.
If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to thin it.
And served the pasta immediately.
Easy, and totally comforting.
Pasta alla Marlboro Man (Serves 4-6)
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1kg minced beef, or pork, or chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 grounded black pepper
1.5 tsp ground thyme – I used dried thyme
2 cans (14 Ounce) whole tomatoes – I used chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat olive oil in large skillet or pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook a couple of minutes, until starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and stir, cooking 1 minute, making sure not to brown the garlic.
2. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of excess fat. (Pork has less fat, so I omitted this step.)
3. Add salt, pepper, and ground thyme. Stir to combine.
4. Dump in canned tomatoes with their juice. Stir, reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Uncover the pot and cook an additional 30 minutes.(Since I used minced pork, I omitted the last step here.)
5. Cook rigatoni according to package directions—don’t overcook! (I cooked mine for 2 minutes less than the recommended time.)
6. Drain and place individual portions into bowls. (I mixed the pasta directly with the sauce.)
7. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan into the sauce. Check and adjust seasonings. Ladle sauce over cooked pasta, sprinkle with more Parmesan, and serve.