Meat pasta (macarrons)

Most likely this will be my last post from Spain. We’re going back in a few days but I will go home with a ton of material that I will post once I get back. I have a looooot of work to do!!

This is my childhood dish. I guess we all have that dish that brings us back to our childhood, for me is this pasta. We call it “macarrons”, it is short pasta (usually penne) with ground pork and sofregit (again, this tomato and onion paste that we use for so many recipes!). I’m pretty sure there is a variation of this pasta in every family in Spain. This THE kids dish for excellence, it’s our mac and cheese, sort of speak… I think I have never met a kid that does not like it (and I’ve been around a lot of kids!).

pasta with pork meat and tomato and onion paste (macarrons) with grated cheese

My recipe is my paternal grandmother’s, her macarrons were spectacular. Every time my cousins or I would go visit her we would ask her to cook them. I actually ate macarrons every Saturday for lunch during many years when growing up because I kept asking for it. She had a little trick that makes this macarrons different from the rest: she blended the meat just a bit which helps it stick better to the pasta and gives it a smoother texture. There must be something with grandmothers and macarrons because my kids also prefer my mom’s over the ones I make (although it is the same recipe!)…

pasta with pork meat and tomato and onion paste (macarrons) with grated cheese

Macarrons are our staple of comfort food and everyone, adults and kids alike, loves them!  They are delicious, easy to prepare and a crowd pleaser.

Definitely a MUST!

close up of pasta with pork meat and tomato and onion paste (macarrons) with grated cheese
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pasta with pork meat and tomato and onion paste (macarrons) with grated cheese

Meat pasta (Macarrons)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main course

Description

My all time favorite pasta: ground pork, tomato and onion paste (sofregit) and short pasta. Easy to make, easier to eat!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 onion
  • 8 oz (1/2 can) plain tomato sauce
  • 1 lb short pasta (penne, fusilli)
  • Grated cheese (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a pan cook the ground pork with some olive oil for 5-10 min at medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. If you have prepared sofregit add 3 tbsp to the meat, it will “coat” the meat but you should not expect it to be sauce-like. Skip to step #5.
  3. If you don’t have prepared sofregit, prepare it: Finely chop the onion and cook it at low-medium heat cook with olive oil until it is golden brown but not burnt. Then add the tomato sauce and continue cooking until it has reduced its volume by a 1/3 aprox. For a more thorough step by step recipe visit this post I wrote that explains how to make it.
  4. Add the pork to the sofregit and mix well. It will not be a sauce, the sofregit will “coat” the meat but you should not expect it to be sauce-like.
  5. Using a hand blender, blend the meat just a bit so the clumps break down and you have a smoother texture (see notes).
  6. Boil the pasta according to the package instructions.
  7. Mix the meat and pasta and serve with some cheese if desired.

Notes

If you see that the meat with the sofregit is a bit dry and pale in color, you can add a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce to bring the color up (this is actually how my mom makes them).

You can totally omit step #5 if you want, but blending the meat gives a smoother texture to the meat and it also helps to mix and stick better to the pasta. You don’t have to make it into a puree, just a small touch of the blender to break down the big clumps and you’re good to go.

When cooking pasta I always calculate 3.5 oz (100 g) per person for a good portion.



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