This isn't anything fancy and you could argue how Italian it actually is. In fact, the recipe I based this on is passed down from the Maltese side of my family. A lot of Maltese cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian food, however, and this is definitely Italian-influenced.
It's also very easy, tasty and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. I have tried to put measurements as best I can, but I have to admit this is one of those dishes where I never measure anything.
1 onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
150g mushrooms, sliced
250g minced beef
1 400g can tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper
a handful chopped herbs such as basil or parsley
2 tsp capers (optional)
2 tsp sliced green olives (optional)
sun-dried tomatoes - about 5 or 6 (optional)
some sort of grated cheese (optional)Method
Heat the oil in a medium pan, then saute the onions for a few minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms have reduced and are soft.
Turn the heat up a bit and fry the mince until completely brown.
Pour in the tinned tomato and add the tomato puree and stir. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
Then add the herbs, capers or olives or sun-dried tomatoes, and simmer for about 10 minutes more. Season to taste.
Serve with some pasta. I don't have a preference and generally use whatever's in the cupboard. If you like cheese, sprinkle some grated cheese over the top. I am weird and like cheddar or red leicester on my pasta sauce.
You should end up with something that looks vaguely like this: