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This dish is something I’ve always wanted to make, but that I’ve never gotten around to. It’s inspired by one of my favourite food movies, The Big Night, which is one of the most amazing celebrations of Italian cuisine in cinema. But I couldn’t resist substituting the usual meatballs in this dish with boerewors. It gives it that unmistakable taste of home without losing its Italian charm.


TIME: 2½ hours | SERVES: 6


for the pasta

200 g (360 ml) cake flour

2 eggs

15 ml olive oil

15 ml cold water


250 g penne


for the tomato sauce

30 ml olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 x 400 g tin whole tomatoes

2 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and freshly ground black pepper

rest of ingredients

400 g boerewors

100 g salami,

6 hard boiled eggs, chopped in big pieces

15 g fresh basil, chopped

200 g parmesan cheese, finely grated

5 eggs, beaten


for the pasta

Place the flour in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the eggs, olive oil and water, and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, then take it out and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Boil the penne according to the instructions on the back of the packet. Drain in colander and keep one side.


for the tomato sauce

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry till soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes. Use a hand blender and blend the sauce until smooth.

for the rest of the dish

Place the boerewors in a saucepan and add about 50 ml water. Heat the pan and fry the boerewors on the one side until the water has cooked away. Once the boerewors is cooked on the one side, turn over and cook further till done.

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Pour half of the tomato sauce over the cooked penne and mix.

Thinly roll the pasta on a floured surface. Brush a 2-litre metal bowl with olive oil and line the bowl with the pasta. The pasta must hang over the bowl.

Now the layering starts. Spoon penne in the bowl. Sprinkle some basil on top. Next it’s the salami, followed by chopped egg.

Sprinkle half the parmesan cheese on top. Spoon some tomato sauce on top and place the boerewors on top of that. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce on top of the boerewors.

Spoon more penne on top, followed by the rest of the basil, salami, chopped egg, parmesan cheese and penne. Pour the beaten eggs over. Fold the pasta over the top and brush with some water to make the pasta stick together.

Place in the oven. After 30 minutes cover with foil to prevent the pasta from going dry.

Cook for another 1 hour.

Take out of the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes before turning it out. Keep the foil on, don’t worry it will stay warm. Carefully turn out on a serving plate and garnish with fresh leaves of your choice.

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