- 2 - 4 People
From my earliest days I strove to move away from the uniform Bolognese sauce that was ubiquitous. A change that made real impact was to include milk. I first saw this in Italy where I was surprised how half a litre of milk could give such a sweet creaminess to the sauce. A second common change was to omit the much-favoured tins of tomatoes and put in just a small amount of tomato purée. This allows the meat to take centre stage. The final result is a hearty, warming sauce ready to coat flat strands of pasta.
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra as required
- 2 small onions, finely diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 100g unsmoked streaky bacon lardons
- 450g beef mince
- 225g pork mince
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 120ml white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 small sprigs rosemary
- 600ml chicken stock or Marigold bouillon
- 250ml full fat milk
- 320g tagliatelle
- 20g unsalted butter
- freshly grated Parmesan
To prepare the ragù
- Heat the oil in a large casserole pot. When hot, add the finely diced onion.
- Stir, season with salt, cover with a lid and turn down the heat to low.
- Allow to sweat, stirring regularly, until the onion has become translucent and is completely tender. This process will take about 10 minutes.
- Add the finely diced carrot and celery to the pot, stir to mix and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
- Increase the heat and mix in the bacon lardons.
- Sauté over a medium heat until the fat renders out and the bacon becomes lightly coloured.
- Increase the heat to high and add in the beef and pork mince. Brown the meat, stirring regularly until the meat loses its pink colour.
- Season, stir in the tomato purée and then pour in the white wine. Boil the wine until it has reduced almost to a glaze.
- Add the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and stock, bring up to the boil and then turn down the heat to the very gentlest simmer.
- Allow to cook for about an hour or until reduced by at least half.
- Bring the milk to a simmer and add to the meat.
- Cover the sauce with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar, and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes or so at a gentle bubble, adding more stock if the ragù becomes too dry.
- Remove the bay leaves, the sprigs of rosemary (or the rosemary needles if they have fallen off) and discard.
- The sauce will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days or for a number of months in the freezer.
To prepare the pasta
- Bring a large pot of pasta water with about 4 litres of water to the boil.
- Add 1½ tablespoon salt and return to the boil.
- When the tagliatelle is cooked about 90% through, drain, holding back some of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat the ragù in a frying pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Add the butter and swirl to combine.
- Add in a good dash of pasta water and the pasta.
- Simmer until the sauce coats the pasta loosely.
- Towards the end, mix in a fistful of Parmesan and grate some more to bring to the table.