Pappardelle with Ragu

I decided not to call this Pappardelle with Ragu Bolognese because there are so many arguments over what makes an authentic Ragu Bolognese that I couldn’t claim that mine is the real thing at all.

My list of ingredients tonight was;

Olive oil
3 rashers of chopped smoked streaky bacon
1 large carrot, finely chopped (I would have used celery too but I didn’t have any)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
About 250g of minced beef (sometimes I use a mixture of beef and pork mince)
Some milk
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
A grating of nutmeg
Dried oregano
A splash of Balsamic vinegar

I sautéed the bacon in olive oil until it took some colour and then added the onion, garlic and carrot and cooked them until they softened and added the mince and cooked it until it lost the pinkness. Then I added in the oregano and tomatoes and cooked it for a few minutes and added in the vinegar, cooking it again and adding in the milk, salt and pepper and the freshly grated nutmeg.

I simmered this, covered, for about an hour and a half, adding small amounts of boiled water to stop it drying out too much.

To serve, I cooked some fresh pappardelle and added the sauce, making sure all the pasta was nicely coated and gave each plate a twist or two of black pepper, a sprinkling of chopped parsley and some freshly grated Parmesan.

I think that probably I have more sauce with the pasta than they would in Italy, but that seems to be a common fault in the UK, even it Italian restaurants.

This is one of those dishes that works well with a full-bodied Italian red wine and we had a 2007 Valpolicella Ripasso from Marks and Spencers. They don’t seem to be listing this wine any more but they do have the 2008 vintage, which if the 2007 is anything to go by, should be an excellent wine to go with any full-flavoured Italian dishes.


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