I'd like to tell you how I make my "Ragú". The classic Italian dish is a much loved and also much mistreated recipe - for this reason it can get passions flying among chefs, as well as among home cooks. For a bit of fun, I've also collected some videos of different cooks' versions of the recipe, and their comments. You can see them under the recipe.
My Ragu recipe
Red chili pepper
1 Red Onion
1 Stalk of Celery
500g of Pork or Beef mince (or both mixed)
some Chicken Livers
2 tins of Chopped Tomatoes
A bottle of Red Wine (but only use a glass-ful in the sauce!)
In a large heavy bottomed pan gently heat some olive oil and add a couple of garlic cloves and a couple of salted anchovy fillets. With the heat low the anchovy should start to melt into the oil, while the garlic clove will gently release its flavour into the oil.
Before the garlic starts to brown or burn add the onion, celery, carrot finely chopped, and keep it on a low heat for another 30 minutes, while the onion sweats and the carrot softens.
While the 'soffritto' is on, I like to add the pork or beef to a separate pan, again with some gentle heat and olive oil. This allows you to dry the meat out so it separates. You can also add the chicken livers at this point. Chicken livers are a real optional for me - it's a strong taste, needs care, and can take over if you over-do it. But it does make for a delicious ragu.
When the onion etc is ready, add the meat to the pan and mix it all up. If you'd like a little spice, this is the moment to add some very finely chopped chili. Do it earlier and the kick will go. This is also the moment to add salt and pepper.
Heat and mix everything together then add the chopped tomato. Now's also the time to add the wine.
Let this all bubble away over a gentle heat for as long as you can, ideally half-covered, and adding wine as needed. Feel free to put some in the Ragu as well!
After 2 or 3 hours the ragu should be delicious - this is the moment to add the pasta (ideally tagliatelle) and then continue heating the sauce and pasta together. The reasons for this is that it steams the pasta dry, and then helps the sauce to stick to the pasta, making the whole thing more delicious.
Now for the videos - you'll see nobody agrees with me!
Chef at Home
If you'd like to learn from an expert, why not book a cookery course? We have excellent chefs, like Cinzia of ChefatHomes, who can come to your villa and teach you how to cook. If cookings not your thing, she can also just come and cook in your villa, so you get a restaurant style meal served at home - and a clean kitchen at the end!