CORSICAN BEEF STEW WITH MACARONI

Serve 4

25g dried mushrooms
6 garlic cloves
900g stewing beef, cut into 5cm / 2in cubes
115g thick streaky bacon cut into strips
45ml / 3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
300ml dry white wine
30ml / 2 tbsp passata
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Spring of rosemary
1 bay leaf
225g large macaroni
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain, set the mushrooms aside and reserve the liquid. Cut three of the garlic cloves into thin strips and insert into the pieces of beef by making little slits with a sharp knife. Push the pieces of bacon into the beef with the garlic. Season the meat with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add half the beef and brown well on all sides. Repeat with the remaining beef. Transfer to a plate. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook until lightly browned. Crush the remaining garlic and add to the onions with the meat.

3. Stir in the white wine, passata, mushrooms, cinnamon, rosemary and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring often. Strain the mushroom liquid and add to the stew with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender.

4. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Lift the pieces of meat out of the gravy and transfer to a warmed serving platter. Drain the pasta and layer in a serving bowl with the gravy and cheese. Serve with the meat.