It`s been a while since I was allowed back in the kitchen (you know, family tours), and for today I was to make the smurfs favorite dish, spagbol... with a twist.
I went for a more turkish style of influence on this one, with the aubergines, sun-dried tomatoes and feta replacing the more traditional additions.
TIP: if you want it to become even more oriental, exchange the minced meat of veal and pork that I took with lamb.
Now, the first thing to do is to cut up the aubergine in slices of about 1 cm thick, sprinkle them with salt and leave them to dry out that way for about half an hour.
In the meantime, let`s occupy ourselves with the main players today: fresh, meaty tomatoes, veal and pork mixed minced meat, sun-dried tomatoes and the dynamic duo of onion and garlic.
You just cut up the tomatoes in rather rough blocks, as when it is in the pot, it will be reducing in volume anyways. The same goes with the aubergine, chomp it into rough blocks.
Cut up the onion and garlic, and put it in a pot with olive oil. Add the miced meat, and leave it on a middle height fire until the meat is semi done ("rul" to use a fancy cooking term).
Put all the vegetables with it, and mix it all up, then put it to stew for about 20 minutes on a low fire, WITHOUT a lid or your sauce will become to watery. Go through it with your fancy wooding spoon to avoid cluttering often.
Now, for spicing, it`s the usual suspects of pepper and salt, as well as some oregano. But I used a secret weapon here. Sun-dried tomatoes, feta, aubergines... it could all go rather bitter, so I put in half a cube of sugar for some counter acting sweetening.
Boil the pasta of choice (I wouldn`t use thin variations like spaghetti though, but more of the thicker ones like penne and the likes) and put them together.
Finish by topping the dish with some broken up feta cheese, and you`re all done.
Labour Rating: 1 - if you can chop up tomatoes, you basically have mastered everything you need for this...
GF Appreciation Rating: High - the sauce was excellent
Smurf Appreciation Rating: High - he now officially can`t deny that he doesn`t like aubergines, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, so that`s mission accomplished!
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