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 Ragu Sauce with Pasta Recipe

Ragu sauce and pasta. Click to enlarge.
Click picture to enlarge

This is a meat sauce from the Bologna area of Northern Italy. It contains ground meat and tomatoes. The sauce is cooked for 2 to 4 hours which makes it very rich. It is typically served with pasta.   

The sauce is cooked for 2 hours with the lid off to give a superb concentrated sauce. Ignore any so-called authentic ragu sauce recipes which use tomato concentrate - where would an Italian mama get that from!

KEY POINTS

 Preparation Time:  15 mins  Cooking Time:   2 hours
 How Difficult  Easy  Freeze?   Definitely
 Servings

4 portions




INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

Imperial

Metric

Minced beef

14oz

400g

Pancetta or streaky bacon 4oz 110g
4 large tins plum tomatoes 14oz each 400g each
1 large onion - -
2 large garlic cloves - -
3 bay leaves - -
Sprig of rosemary or a teaspoon of dried rosemary - -
Fresh grated parmesan cheese - -
Red wine 2 glasses 2 glasses
Olive oil 3 tablespoons 3 tablespoons
Salt and pepper To taste To taste
     

COOKS NOTES: The ragu sauce will thicken considerably during cooking and that is how it is meant to be. But if it starts to stick to the pan, add a splash of wine or water.

If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, simply substitute the meat and bacon with grated carrots and chopped sweet peppers (and/or celery, French beans are pretty good as well!).

COOKING EQUIPMENT
1 large pan

PREPARATION

Finely chop the garlic cloves
Finely chop the onion
Chop the bacon
Finely grate the parmesan cheese

Ragu recipe preparation. Click picture to enlarge.

METHOD

Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a medium heat pan large enough to take all the ingredients.

Add the onion, garlic and bacon and cook for 10 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir well to ensure the bacon separates and is evenly mixed in with the onions and garlic.

Onion, garlic and bacon cooking. Click picture to enlarge.

 
Ragu sauce cooking. Click picture to enlarge. Turn the heat down a bit to medium low and  add the tomatoes, mince, wine, rosemary and bay leaves. Stir well to ensure that everything is well mixed.

Told you it was easy! Cook on a low heat for two hours without the lid on the pan. Add wine or water if the ragu sauce begins to become sticky. Stir the sauce every half hour.

 
Ten minutes or so before the sauce is ready, start to cook the pasta. When the pasta is cooked, drain away the water and add the pasta to the ragu sauce.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mix together well. Serve on warmed plates. Grate lots of Parmesan cheese over the ragu and enjoy this simple Italian dish with millions of other Italians.

Ragu sauce and pasta. Click to enlarge.


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