Fettucini with Ragu

After a week of raining, I wanted something that I could sit with in the house as it cooked. This meat ragu takes at least three hours to reach its potential. Together with meaty thick strips of pasta such as fettucini or taglietelle this is a real hearty comfort food. Just as this dish was finishing, a few friends just happened to pop in for a visit. Of course, they stayed for food and not a morsel was left. Success.


500g pork & veal mince
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 carrot (finely diced)
1 celery stick (finely diced)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon celery leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk
2-3 cups beef stock
salt & pepper
dried fettucini or taglietelle (enough for 4 people)

Melt the butter in a large pan over a moderate heat. Add the olive oil then gently fry the onions, celery and carrot for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, oregano, celery leaves and salt & pepper and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced meat and cook until the mince is no longer pink. Break up any lumps with the back of your spoon. Turn up the heat, add the wine and simmer for 1 minute until the alcohol is burned off. Add the milk, tomatoes and half of the beef stock. Let this come to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer gently for 3 hours stirring occasionally. Add more of the stock gradually as the sauce reduces. Keep the sauce moist over the 3 hours.

When the sauce is done, check the seasoning, remove from the heat and cover. Heat a large pan of water until boiling, add salt then cook the fettucini or taglietelle according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pan. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of parmesan and a little butter. Then add 4-5 ladlefuls of ragu and stir well.

Tip the pasta into a large serving bowl, add a few more spoonfuls of sauce over the top, sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and some black pepper. Let everyone dive in.

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