G’hacktes mit Hörnli is a Swiss pasta dish topped with a vegetable meat sauce and served with applesauce (Apfelmus). Ground beef is combined with carrots, celery, and onions. It is simmered in a red wine beef stock until tender and reduced, then poured over al dente macaroni with applesauce. I used elbow macaroni, but you can substitute with any favorite medium pasta shape. Macaroni works especially well, because the small holes help soak up the applesauce and toppings.
Pasta and applesauce seem to be a common pairing in Switzerland. I have another Swiss pasta dish on the blog, Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni), which is a delicious combination of pasta, caramelized onions, cheese, potatoes, and applesauce. These are quite the comfort foods as the weather becomes cooler and snow starts to fall.
Claire was a huge fan. Evan is still in a super picky phase and picked around the meat sauce.
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 pound (450 grams) ground beef
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
1 cup (250 mL) beef stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound (450 grams) dried macaroni
2 cups (400 grams) applesauce
Parmesan cheese to garnish
In a large saucepan, drizzle oil over medium heat. Once heated, add carrots, celery, and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Add the beef and cook, stirring to break apart with a spoon, until browned. Pour in the red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, paprika, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni when the sauce is almost done and cook until al dente, just tender. Drain and divide among serving bowls.
Top with the meat sauce and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve with applesauce.