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Recipe: Fettucine Pasta with Homemade Ragu alla Bolognese

Recipe: Fettucine Pasta with Homemade Ragu alla Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 25g butter or olive oil
  • 100g bacon or pancetta lardons
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 300g-400g cubed stewing steak, or ground beef, or half pork and beef.
  • 75g red wine
  • 200g milk, or beef stock
  • 150g-200g thick tomato sauce or concentrated passata
  • butter or oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pretty much the standard recipe for traditional Ragù alla Bolognese, though there may be a few ingredients here, or not here, that surprise you. No garlic or herbs, though do add them if you like. Milk is added to help tenderise the meat, more useful if you’re using cubed beef rather than minced. You can use half pork and beef for the meat. And everything is cooked separately before combining in the pan to simmer: better for the final flavour that way. If you want to add extras like dried porcini mushrooms, or sautéed chicken livers, they’re excellent too. The perfect partner for our South Devon Pasta Co Hand-made Emmer Fettuccine.

Method

Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan, add the lardons and fry over a low heat until a rich brown colour, about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel or trim the carrot, celery and onion, and dice into 1cm cubes. Scoop the lardons out of the pan onto a plate, leave to one side, then add the diced vegetables with ½ tsp salt to help them soften. Cook over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until they’re starting to brown, as this brings out the vegetables' natural sweetness. Then scoop the vegetables out of the pan and onto the plate with the lardons.

Add the meat to the remaining fat in the pan and cook over a high heat until it begins to sizzle, then reduce to heat to medium and cook until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Add the wine, cook until it evaporates, then add the milk or stock, reserved vegetables and lardons and cook slowly over a very low heat with the lid loosely on for two hours, until the meat is tender and the milk almost evaporated. Then add the tomato sauce, and cook for another 30-60 minutes until done.

Cook two servings of South Devon Pasta Co Hand-made Emmer Fettuccine for just 4-6 minutes - emmer pasta cooks faster than durum wheat varieties. Drain, pile half the ribbons of pasta in each of two serving bowls, and add the homemade ragu.

Recipe by Dan Lepard