Ragu alla Bolognese
Ragu alla Bolognese (Bolognese sauce) comes from the beautiful city of Bologna in the region of Emilia Romagna. No Italians have ever heard of spaghetti bolognese as the sauce is never served with spaghetti, only tagliatelle. Italians also do not have large scoops of sauce on top of pasta, rather one spoonful mixed in with it.
- 500g minced beef, or pork (or a mixture of both)
- 50g thin cut pancetta, cut into small pieces
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 large stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 200ml white wine
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 200ml beef stock
- 400g tagliatelle
- Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Gently cook the mince in a saucepan, making sure it is broken up and slightly browned all over. Add a very little olive oil if you wish, but if you cook it slowly enough it should not need it.
- Add the pancetta and continue to cook slowly until it is browned.
- Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf, stir well and place a lid on the saucepan. Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for around 10 to 15 minutes until everything is browned and the juices are flowing.
- Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, until all the wine has evaporated.
- Stir in the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree, stirring well. Cook for around 5 minutes and then add the beef stock.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to very low, cover and then simmer for around 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and cook on a slightly higher heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Boil a pan of water and cook the tagliatelle according to the instructions on the packet.
- Drain the tagliatelle and place four large spoonfuls of the sauce in with it. Stir well until all the pasta is coated.
- Divide between four heated dishes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
- Any remaining sauce will freeze very well giving you a quick, easy and tasty meal at a later date.
Freeze the remaining sauce in single portions which will leave you with a quick and handy meal for one or the ability able to cater for any number at short notice.
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