SSI News Blog

When Mostafa arrived in Australia from Iran in 2013, he didn’t imagine he would work in a Sydney restaurant specialising in Italian cuisine. But his volunteer experience at SSI Community Kitchen, along with his determination and passion for cooking, landed him a job at a Rose Bay Italian restaurant.

Mostafa's penne pasta bolognese
Mostafa's penne pasta bolognese.

Italian Penne alla Bolognese

Ingredients (Serves 4)

400 gm minced beef

400gm penne or spaghetti

1 tsp tomato paste

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 small onion

1 small carrot

1 stick celery


Olive oil

White wine (optional)


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, carrot and celery previously chopped or minced with a grinder. Stir for 5 minutes, until softened.

Add the meat and mix well, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Then season with salt, white pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Once the meat is browned, add the tomato paste, the chopped tomatoes from the tin and a generous glass of white wine. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Add half glass of water and simmer, uncovered for one hour or until thick.

When the sauce is almost ready, add the chopped basil. You can now cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, until tender. It should be ready just about the same time as the sauce. Drain the pasta and mix everything together in the saucepan. Finish it with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.

Success stories

SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.


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