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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

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Pasticcio


There are many different Italian baked pasta dishes called pasticcio. This one calls for a rich tomato and beef sauce and creamy béchamel topping. Don't skimp on the parmesan.

You'll need

60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil 1 each small onion, small carrot and celery stalk, finely diced 60 gm mild pancetta, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 750 gm minced beef 130 ml red wine 450 ml tomato passata 1 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano ½ tsp thinly sliced sage (3 leaves) 400 gm dried zitoni tagliati (see note) For greasing: butter For dusting: fine fresh breadcrumbs To serve: finely grated parmesan   Salsa besciamella 70 gm butter, coarsely chopped 70 gm plain flour, sieved 700 ml milk 80 gm each provolone piccante and parmesan, coarsely grated

Method

  • 01
  • Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Sauté onion, carrot, celery, pancetta and garlic until tender and starting to caramelise (10-15 minutes), remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 tbsp oil to pan, add half the beef and sauté until browned (3-5 minutes), remove from pan and repeat with remaining oil and beef. Return beef and vegetables to pan, add wine and cook until reduced by one-third (3-5 minutes). Add tomato passata, oregano and sage, and cook over low heat until thickened (20-30 minutes). Set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just al dente (5-10 minutes). Drain and refresh under cold running water. Layer in a 2.5-litre-capacity baking dish, buttered and dusted with breadcrumbs, top with beef mixture and refrigerate.
  • 03
  • For salsa besciamella, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until sand-coloured (3-5 minutes). Add milk gradually, stirring continuously until incorporated and sauce is smooth (5-10 minutes). Add cheeses, stir until melted, spoon over beef mixture, scatter with extra parmesan and bake until golden and bubbly (30-40 minutes). Serve hot.

Note Zitoni tagliati is a tubular pasta available from select Italian delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute another medium-sized tubular pasta, such as rigatoni.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

May 2010

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