I don’t know about you, but one day I eat zoodles (courgette noodles) proud of myself for not eating carbs, the other day I buy a healthier version of pasta from Whole Foods, some green tagliatelle made from edemame beans and plain water they say. When you open the bag the smell is really bad, but when you cook them they are actually ok, except that strange feeling in your mouth, it’s like you are chewing a lot of gums at the same time :D
And then, after ‘being good’ for two days, trying something new, skipping carbs I decide to slow cook a big pot of delicious beef ragu! Well, you can serve it with zoodles if you want, but it’s soooo much better with delicious al dente pasta. You know that I’m right and you can’t wait to do the same this weekend :)
500g minced beef
280g chopped tomatoes drained weight ( 1 can 400g)
100ml white wine
200-300ml water or vegetable stock
50ml milk (sounds strange but it works, it will make your sauce creamier)
1 big brown onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
50g celery root chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp tomato purée
pinch of nutmeg
pinch (or two) of dry chilli flakes
pinch of sugar
fresh parsley chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper of course
pasta of your choice! I used spaghetti but actually my favourite type of pasta is pappardelle – you’ll need around 85g of dry pasta per person :)
Heat a large saucepan, add a dash of olive oil, then fry the mince for 5–6 minutes over a high heat until browned. Add the onions, garlic, carrot and celery (I used my Food processor to chop/mince vegetables, it’s soooo much faster to use this shortcut!) and cook for another 6–7 minutes, then pour in the wine. Continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, pinch of nutmeg and chilli flakes, chopped parsley, water and mix well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cover and cook over a low heat for 3 hours or more if you have time – a long time I know, but well worth the wait, the longer the better! Season with salt, pepper and a small pinch of sugar, add more water if needed during the cooking process and don’t forget to add the milk half an hour before the sauce is cooked.
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions, then drain. Toss it with the ragù sauce and fresh basil, then serve with grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil :)
Enjoy my friends!