We’ve been staying with my parents for over a month now – For Florian, it’s been just over a week. After confinement, Mum did most of the cooking for dinner. I made Cashew Chicken the other evening for everyone, since my dear husband is a fan of it. Last Friday, I decided to made a ragu from scratch. Mum and I agreed much earlier that we’d take turns to be in the kitchen. I want to learn more Chinese home-cooked dishes from Mum, but at the same time, I enjoy playing around with new recipes.
Since our pregnancy loss, I have not been able to feel the desire to do anything particularly constructive aside from building up Seeking the Rainbow. All that changed last week when an old schoolmate of mine messaged me via Instagram asking if I could make a cake for her father’s birthday on Saturday. I don’t think she knows what happened which was just as well. I decided that I would make the cake and that was how I found myself back in the kitchen, baking and cooking.
I find baking and cooking therapeutic, and have done for a long time. I’m by no means the best cook but I find joy in seeing my family digging into my food, polishing their plates clean, before giving me their two thumbs up. Some of my dishes have been misses, I’ll admit to that. But this ragu was a hit. Good things ought to be shared so while I can’t cook for you personally, I will gladly share this recipe with you!
Hover on pictures above for captions
Homemade Ragu (Serves 4-6)
2 Carrots, finely chopped
2 Stalks of Celery, finely chopped
1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
200g Minced Pork
200g Minced Beef (I used lean mince for both meats)
180ml Red Wine (I used a bottle of red wine from the plane)
400g good quality Passata (or tomato puree)
500ml Beef Stock
Pat of Butter (however much you like)
Salt and Pepper to season
Extra beef stock or water if needed
*My vegetables were not as finely chopped as they should have been. Next time!
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-heat. Add in minced pork and minced beef to brown. Once browned and liquid has been absorbed, transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Add butter to the pan on medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion – this will make the soffrito. Take your time in cooking the soffrito so that flavour develops.
- Once the vegetables are all soft and translucent, add in the red wine.
- When the wine has reduced to half its original amount, add in passata and beef stock.
- Bring the pot to a boil before turning the heat down to low. Leave ragu to simmer for 2.5-3 hours, stirring every so often. Do not let the ragu dry out – add more stock or water if needed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Mum and Dad had spaghettini with the ragu, while Florian and I had wholemeal penne. We all had it topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, no less. The ragu was rich, and deep in flavour. Perfectly comforting! It’s simple to make but takes time for the flavours to meld together and develop. The addition of love definitely makes it taste even better. Make sure to toss your cooked pasta in with the ragu before dishing it out onto your plate. That way, each strand gets coated in the delicious sauce.
If you have a solid, traditional ragu recipe you swear by, or even some scrumptious, easy-to-make recipes you enjoying making, please share them with me. I’ll be more than game to give them a go! If you manage to find time to whip up this recipe I’ve just shared, let me know how it goes as well! I’m pretty sure if I can make it, you can too. 🙂 x