Munich Helles and Matriciana

Aerial MatricianaA lot of my cooking skills were learnt growing up in a household of bakers, namely my mother and grandmother. Baking for friends and family and entering our wares into the cookery section of the local show was the norm for me and my siblings. From this home-style, country baking my horizons were broadened at my university college where a communal kitchen with 400-ish of my peers presented ample opportunity to learn new tricks and improve my knowledge of all things food.

The following recipe is one that I learned in this kitchen with some alterations I’ve made over the last several years. Originally a traditional matriciana, the inclusion of a few more vegetables ensures a well-balanced meal while still maintaining the traditional marriage of flavours. Quick, easy and tasty it’s a dish that’s on regular rotation for dinner.

Matriciana and Pils pairingThe Beer Pairing

My beer recommendation: a pilsener of the Munich or Dortmunder Helles varieties (I picked up a Weihenstephaner Original, a Munich-style Helles, at my local). Excellent with cured meats, particularly bacon, the light sweetness of the Pils malts compliment the salty savouriness of the bacon. Against the mushrooms, with their mild meaty character, the beer holds up well and those malts are once again highlighted against the textural woody backdrop of the mushies. This is a style of beer that’s also perfect in its light noble hop character to give refreshment from the matriciana’s chilli kick. Perfetto!

Munich Helles and MatricianaThe Recipe

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium brown onion, roughly diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 12-16 rashers shortcut bacon, roughly chopped
  • 10 cup mushrooms, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 500g Farfalle pasta
  • Parmesan, to serve

What to do:

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and bay leaves and cook until onion becomes translucent.

2. Add the bacon, mushrooms and capsicum and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients. Stirring, bring to the boil before reducing the heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and sauce has thickened (about 30 minutes). Remove the bay leaves.

4. Prepare pasta according to packet instructions. Stir through matriciana sauce, plate up and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan.

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