I’m going to open up a debate here…. what actually is the difference between ragu and bolognaise? The first time I ever wondered this was when we were on holiday in Tuscany, as every menu specialised in boar ragu with pappadelle, and I was officially in heaven! Now, I will take my hat off and say that there is plenty of difference between the slow cooked rich boar with freshly made pasta and a quick whip it up bolognaise with dried spaghetti; but from doing a wee bit of reaseach on my return some people would beg to differ this. Here are my beliefs on the matter;
– Bolognaise – Minced Meat based sauce cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, herbs and garlic.
– Ragu – Slow cooked chunkier meat based sauce with a rich tomato sauce and vegetables.
I therefore open to suggestions on this?
Debate aside, this recipe officially rocks my World, and I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 6 days a week; as on Sunday I will mix it up with some cheese sauce and turn it into a lasagne!
For the ragu
- 1 chilli – finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery – finely chopped
- 1 white onion – finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic – crushed and finely chopped
- 1 carrot – peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- 250g pork – I used a leftover joint from a roast dinner and chopped it into small chunks but you could use a mix – leg, steak, bacon – it doesn’t really matter
- 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
- 150g chicken stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp oregano
- Pinch paprika
- Salt and pepper
For the pasta
- 200g 00 flour
- 2 eggs
- Pinch salt
Pre-heat the oven to 160’C
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onion until soft.
Add the meat to the pan and brown.
Stir in the carrot, celery and garlic and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring if it sticks at all.
Add the tomatoes, stock, puree, paprika and oregano and give it a good stir.
Bring the mixture to the boil and then cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or longer, until the meat is tender and the sauce thick. – season to taste before serving.
To make the pasta; sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre
Break your eggs into the middle and whisk it, incorporating the flour into it from the sides
Once the dough has come together knead it for 7-10 minutes until you have a smooth dough
To make the pasta split the dough into 2 (wrapping up the ball you aren’t using), and press one of the balls flat with your hand.
Roll the pasta through the thickest settings, fold in half and then repeat this about 3-4 times before reducing the settings and feeding through the roller until you get to about setting number three, and have lovely thin and smooth pasta.
With your strip of pasta simply slice in into strips about 1 inch thick and then cover until you need to cook it so it doesn’t dry out.
Repeat this process with the second ball of pasta
When you are ready to serve, heat a large pan of salty water with a splash of oil and cook the pasta for 2 minutes, strain and return to the pan.
Stir the ragu in with the pasta and mix well.
Plate up and enjoy with some fresh parmesan.