Like many traditional Italian recipes, there are many ragu variations. My favourite version uses a mix of pork and veal mince (for flavor and sweetness), white wine, not too much tomato and a drop of milk at the end – not your average spaghetti bolognaise! The secret is long, slow cooking. I also love to add chicken livers with the meat but not everyone likes offal. I find short pasta works best with this sauce, but you could use whatever you have to hand.
Preparation and Cooking Time: 2 hours
1 tablespoon (20g) butter
1 medium (150g) onion, finely chopped
1 medium (120g) carrot, finely diced
1 stalk (100g) celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250g minced pork
250g minced veal
3 rashes (200g) bacon, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) white wine
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
400g tinned tomatoes, diced
375ml chicken stock
½ cup (125ml) milk
Penne, to serve
Grated parmesan, to serve
- Melt butter in a large heavy based saucepan over medium heat, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add minced pork, minced veal and bacon to the saucepan, increase the heat to high and cook for 5 minutes or until the mince browns, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the mince. Add white wine and cook until almost all the liquid evaporates. Add bay leaf, thyme, tomatoes and stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours or until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally. If too much liquid evaporates, cover with a lid. Add milk and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until thick and rich.
- Serve spooned over penne, sprinkled with grated parmesan.
Lyndey’s Note: I recommend doubling this recipe as it freezes beautifully. It can also be used as a filling for cannelloni or lasagna.