Ragù Bolognese with Pappardelle
Ragù bolognese is such a classic everyday dish, loved by young and old alike. The traditional Italian version uses minced pork as well as beef, as I’ve done here. It also has a long, slow cooking time that gives meltingly tender meat and a rich, deep-flavoured sauce, but with a relatively small amount of liquid. If you prefer a runnier sauce, simply add a touch more stock.
|450g||pappardelle or tagliatelle|
|Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve|
|Basil leaves, to garnish|
|For the ragù:|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|1||large carrot, peeled and finely diced|
|2||celery sticks, finely diced|
|500g||lean minced pork|
|500g||lean minced beef|
|3||garlic cloves, crushed|
|3 tbsp||sun-dried tomato paste|
|1 x 400g||tin of chopped tomatoes|
|2 tbsp||chopped thyme leaves|
|4 tbsp||double cream (optional)|
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
You will need a 3-litre (5-pint) deep flameproof and ovenproof pan or casserole dish, with a lid. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/Gas 3.
First make the ragù. Heat the oil in the pan, add the onions, carrot and celery and fry over a high heat for 5–6 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the minced pork and beef and fry with the vegetables, stirring to break down and seal the meat.
When the mince has browned, and any excess liquid has evaporated, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the sun-dried tomato paste, then pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Add the passata, tinned tomatoes, stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and bring back up to the boil, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook for about an hour (see tip).
After an hour, remove the lid from the pan and stir in the cream if using, then put back in the oven to cook, uncovered, for another hour until tender and reduced. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Shortly before the ragù has finished cooking, cook the pasta in boiling salted water in a large pan according to the packet instructions. Drain and divide between plates, then spoon over the ragù and serve scattered with freshly grated Parmesan and garnished with a few basil leaves.
PREPARE AHEAD The ragù can be made up to a day ahead and reheated.
FREEZE The cooked ragù freezes well.
MARY’S EVERYDAY TIP Cooking in the oven provides an even, all-round source of heat and
gives the ragù a real depth of flavour, but you can cook on a low heat
on the hob, if you prefer, for the same length of time.