My Ragu recipe

Ingredients for Ragú

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salted Anchovies
  • Red chili pepper
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Stalk of Celery
  • 500g of Pork or Beef mince (or both mixed)
  • some Chicken Livers
  • 2 tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • A bottle of Red Wine (but only use a glass-ful in the sauce!)

In a large heavy bottomed pan gently heat some olive oil and add a couple of garlic cloves and a couple of salted anchovy fillets. With the heat low the anchovy should start to melt into the oil, while the garlic clove will gently release its flavour into the oil.

Melting the garlic and anchovies into the olive oil - Making Bolognese Sauce

Before the garlic starts to brown or burn add the onion, celery, carrot finely chopped, and keep it on a low heat for another 30 minutes, while the onion sweats and the carrot softens.

Soffritto - Making Bolognese Sauce

While the 'soffritto' is on, I like to add the pork or beef to a separate pan, again with some gentle heat and olive oil. This allows you to dry the meat out so it separates. You can also add the chicken livers at this point. Chicken livers are a real optional for me - it's a strong taste, needs care, and can take over if you over-do it. But it does make for a delicious ragu.

When the onion etc is ready, add the meat to the pan and mix it all up. If you'd like a little spice, this is the moment to add some very finely chopped chili. Do it earlier and the kick will go. This is also the moment to add salt and pepper.

Heat and mix everything together then add the chopped tomato. Now's also the time to add the wine.

You need red wine if you're - Making Bolognese Sauce

Let this all bubble away over a gentle heat for as long as you can, ideally half-covered, and adding wine as needed. Feel free to put some in the Ragu as well!

Making Bolognese Sauce

After 2 or 3 hours the ragu should be delicious - this is the moment to add the pasta (ideally tagliatelle) and then continue heating the sauce and pasta together. The reasons for this is that it steams the pasta dry, and then helps the sauce to stick to the pasta, making the whole thing more delicious.

Pastasciutta technique for Making Bolognese Sauce