As is the case with many great Italian dishes, this is not a complicated thing to make, but it does need plenty of time to cook so that it can develop its full flavour. Ideally 4 hours minimum!
For this recipe we have a video guide you can watch that includes the making of fresh pasta! If you would rather just follow to make the sauce you can ignore the pasta-y bits! CLICK HERE for the video
Ragu is a generic term for a meat sauce, and they do vary throughout the Italian peninsula. You will find ragu in Tuscany which are heavy in pork, or ragu around Naples which don’t even use minced meat, but chunks which slowly break down and take on a ‘pulled’ stewy texture.
This is a classic central Italian ragu, and what is generally know as Bolognese, referring to that which comes from the great food city of Bologna!
You can use this recipe as base and adapt a few things - use simply all beef, or some pork and some beef, use a little pancetta, add a little nutmeg, some extra herbs, or even throw in a Parmesan rind to build the umami, but our general advice is to keep it simple…the low and slow cooking will give it all the flavour it needs.
If you look at the steps we are also cooking different layers of flavour into the sauce. Finishing each before we move onto the next, e.g coating and frying the mix in tomato puree before we add the wine, then adding and reducing the wine before we add the tinned tomatoes. This is an approach you can take with all your cooking if you want to boost the flavour!
Watch our video guide for the recipe on Instagram by clicking HERE - it includes the making of fresh pasta; if you would rather just make the sauce you can ignore the pasta-y bits.
1 Warm the oil in a deep frying pan until hot. Add the vegetables and fry on a medium heat for around 10 minutes, until the veg is well softened. You can add a pinch of salt while frying these off to help this process since it draws the water out of the vegetables.
2 Add the meat and fry, whilst breaking up the mince with a whisk. Continue until it’s well broken down into small bits and lightly browned.
3 Add the tomato puree and fry for 5 mins, stirring well. Then throw in the wine and simmer until the liquid as all evaporated.
4 Add the tomatoes and the rosemary and simmer for at least 2 hours, ideally 4 or more. You want the heat to be low, so the sauce is bubbling gently. Every time it gets too dry, just add a little water. When you are ready to serve it, make sure it is well reduced and thick before you do so. Season well with salt and pepper to finish!