Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Ragu (Italian Meat Sauce for Pasta)

Ragu is a hearty, happy dish with bags of flavour and is a lot less work than might be expected. I do feel that it needs a fresh egg pasta to do it justice, but that might just be me and my penchant for rich food! Tagliatelle is certainly a fabulous type of pasta for this sauce either way.

This is my made-up version of ragu, it isn't nearly as good as my Mum's but hers has a list of ingredients that fills a an A4 page and takes hours to cook... this one is a speedy little number which still manages a beautiful flavour and a great texture. The amount below serves two hungry people, with just enough left over for one of you to have lunch the next day.

So, dice an onion, a stick of celery and a couple of garlic cloves and set them to gently fry in a pan. When they're softened, add in half a pack of mince (about 250g) and give it a good stir. Once that's going brown, add in a tub's worth of chopped chicken livers and keep stirring to brown those as well.

Throw in a diced carrot and a couple of bay leaves, and a glass of red wine. Let that bubble for a bit before topping up with a tin of tomatoes, a squeeze of tomato puree and a large pinch of dried oregano. Add a little water to help form a sauce and leave to simmer for as long as you can manage - a good half hour at least.

Finally, season with salt and pepper before serving with hot pasta.

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