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By Doreen Colondres for Barilla

We all love Italian cuisine. But once in a while, I love to invite its recipes to my kitchen and sparkle them with our local ingredients. It could be fresh cilantro, a serrano, jalapeño chile or ají amarillo, a white fresh cheese, a sweet pepper or even plantains like my grandma used to make it in Puerto Rico.

Let’s get inspired in the Mediterranean diet. As long as you keep it fresh, simple and balanced, you will be able to enjoy it and scream “Mamma Mia”.

What you need:

  • 1 pound Barilla Linguini Pasta
  • 1 1/2 pound of ground beef (90/10)
  • 4-5 fresh pear tomatoes, small diced
  • 1 medium fresh carrot, small diced
  • 1 green cubanelle pepper or 1 celery, small diced (or 2 tbsp. Caribbean sofrito)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, small diced
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 small yellow plantain, medium diced, fried
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (Pinot Grigio preferred)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you need to do:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the onion and garlic, and sauté over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 3 more minutes. Then add the celery or peppers and carrot and sauté for 3 more minutes.
  2. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring frequently until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the wine, let it reduce for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the bay leaves, reduce the temperature to medium-low (covered) until the sauce thickens, about 7 minutes.
  5. Finish with the plantains, cilantro, stir, serve and enjoy!

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