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Brown meat in batches in heavy casserole dish in a little olive oil. Remove meat as cooked to a bowl.
Heat 1 tblsp olive oil and fry off the onions and fry while stirring until softened, then add mushrooms and cook for a minute or two.
Add herbs and tomato paste and fry on medium to high heat for at least 1 minute.
Add chopped tomatoes, capsicum, crushed garlic and passata and stir well. Bring to the boil and and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the browned mince and stir well. If mixture too thick add either some beef stock or water.
The longer it simmers on low heat the richer it will be.
Alternatives: chicken cacciatore - substitute 1kg diced chicken meat - other ingredients & method the same. When the kids were young and refused zucchini I used to grated it and add while cooking the onions. For some odd reason they never questioned the big 'herbs'!
I've recently made this using the meat from a leg of pork... it was delicious!
*Oven roasted capsicum, tomatoes & garlic: wash tomatoes trim stalks, wash capsicums well & remove most of the stalks (so that you can stand them upside down in a baking tray). Place whole capsicums and tomatoes into baking dish together with the whole garlic, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 170DegC for around 45 minutes. Once cooked, immediately place capsicums & tomatoes into 'freezer' bags and seal. Wrap garlic in foil and allow to cool.
Once cooled sufficiently for handling, gently remove skins, deseed (and devein capsicums) and slice or chop into chunks. Separate garlic cloves and squeeze the base of each clove, the garlic pulp will ooze out of the tip.
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