This ragu is one of Rebecca’s favourites. It is all about coaxing the flavour from every ingredient through long, slow cooking. The result is a super-tasty rich sauce to serve over polenta, gnocchi or any kind of pasta.
This will be sure to warm you up on these chilly winter evenings of late.
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 500g (1lb 2oz) really nice Italian sausages (about 4 sausages- a mixture of pork and veal if possible)
- 200g (7 oz) pancetta, roughly chopped
- 1 cup (250ml) full-bodied red wine
- 2 x 400g (14 oz) tins whole tomatoes
- ¼ cup (60g) tomato paste (concentrated puree)
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to 150c (300f).
2. Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole dish over medium heat.
3. Cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
4. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for a couple more minutes.
5. Crumble the sausage meat into the pan, discarding the casings.
6. Add the pancetta and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until the sausage meat and pancetta are browned.
7. Pour in the red wine and let the liquid reduce a little.
8. Now pour in the tomatoes, tomato paste and stock and stir well.
9. Season with salt and pepper to taste
10. Place in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 3 hours (give it a stir a couple of times). By this point the ragu will have reduced right down.
*recipe extracted from Sophie Hansen’s cookbook “A Basket by the Door”