This unashamedly tomato-heavy interpretation of the classic ragu bolognese comes from Marine Ices, a London culinary institution. Long, slow simmering brings out the rich flavor of the tomatoes. Thank you, Marine Ices.
1 Heat the oil in a very large saucepan, and stir in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes, until soft but not browned. This initial technique is an example of an Italian soffritto (p157).
2 Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is well browned, stirring constantly and breaking up any large chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
3 Pour in the red wine, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Bring almost to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer the ragu for at least 2 hours, stirring from time to time, until well reduced to a nice thick sauce.
4 Season well with a good pinch of nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Taste, adjusting the seasoning if needed, then stir in the butter. Serve hot with pasta or use as a sauce for lasagna.
Note The time spent peeling the tomatoes for this recipe may seem a little daunting—but persevere. Your efforts will be well rewarded in the delicious end result.
Works well with
Prep time: 45 minutes Cooking time: at least 2 hours
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped 2 carrots, finely diced
2lb (1kg) 90% lean ground beef
6V2lb (3kg) ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped 1 x (6oz) can tomato paste 1 bay leaf freshly grated nutmeg, to taste 1 tbsp butter salt and freshly ground black pepper
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