Ragu

Cate recently posted a recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi as part of her fabulous food fridays posts. (Seriously go check them out if you haven’t already). I suggested that with something as wonderful as her Gnocchi some slow cooked ragu might just be the perfect accompaniment (to me anyhow). So I thought I would share my ragu recipe. Kind of a hybrid of the Heston Blumenthal one we saw on his in search of perfection collection of programs and the Giorgio Locatelli one from his Made in Italy book (which if you haven’t got it is an amazing recipe book which I would highly highly recommend).

Here goes:

Ragu (makes enough for 4-6)

1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 stick of celery finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250 – 300g minced beef (salt and pepper before cooking)
250 – 300g minced pork (salt and pepper before cooking)
Splash milk
Large tin chopped tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
Tomato puree (possibly)
Salt, pepper, dried oregano

In a large heavy bottomed pan (ideally cast iron) warm a good slug of olive oil, once warm add in the finely chopped onion, celery and carrot. Sweat for about 10 minutes or until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, try not to brown it. Remove from the pan and put to one side, without adding more oil to the pan put in some of the meat, don’t do all of it at once so it can seal and brown. In batches brown the meat and after the last batch add back in all the meat and the vegetables.

Add in the garlic and dried oregano and let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the splash of milk, stir, then add in the chopped tomatoes and a splash of water if you feel like it needs it. Cook slowly on the hob, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. Add more water if needed and if you feel like it needs the tomato puree to thicken. Season to taste at this point. After cooking it should be quite a dry sauce. Ideally leave overnight to get even better and then warm through before cooking.

Serve on the gnocchi (or linguine, or tagliatelle) and then grate copious amounts of pecorino and parmesan over the top. A drizzle of olive oil and you’re ready to go. Enjoy!

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