For 3 servings:
400g fresh fettuccine or dried ribbon-shaped pasta
200–250g lean steak or schnitzel cut in pencil-sized strips
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 large onion
200–250g large flat mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon instant stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons brandy or sherry (optional)
2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
From “100 Favourite 20 Minute Dishes”, by Simon & Alison Holst We make several versions of this quickly cooked meal for different occasions.
On a special occasion try using very tender fillet steak, or for an everyday version use a cheaper (lean) cut. Even using expensive beef you may well find that, in all, it costs less than rather nondescript takeaways!
Put a large pot of boiling salted water on, ready to cook the pasta. If using dried pasta, put it in to cook straight away. If using fresh pasta, put it on while the mushrooms cook.
Slice the steak into pencil-thick strips, sprinkle it with the flour and paprika and toss to combine. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a non-stick pan to cook it in, and drain the cooked pasta. When the pan is very hot add the steak and cook briefly, turning it often, until it has browned. (Do not overcook and dry out the steak.) Remove from the pan and set aside.
Halve the onion and slice crosswise into pencil-width strips. Heat the remaining oil over moderate heat in a large non-stick pan, then add the onion and cook until soft. While the onion cooks slice the mushrooms crossways into similarly wide strips, then these into the onions, and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the wine or water, stock, tomato paste and brandy or sherry and cover and cook for 4–5 minutes on high heat, stirring occasionally.
Stir the steak and the sour cream into the mushroom mixture, heating just enough to lightly thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Add a little of the pasta water if the sauce looks too thick.)
Drain the cooked pasta and toss with a little additional oil. Spoon the meat and mushroom mixture over the pasta, top with the remaining sour cream, and sprinkle with fresh herbs if you like. Serve with a green salad that has been drizzled with a little olive oil and lemon juice just before serving.