Recipe: generic ragu sauce

Everytime I make a ragu sauce, it turns out slightly differently. Last night's version was a real cracker, so I wanted to save the recipe here for future reference. Those in search of the authentic taste of Italy, look away now; if you want a quick and very tasty sauce to serve with any sort of pasta (its very nice with rigatoni) then you're in for a treat. The secrect's in the double dose of umami from the stock cube and Worcestershire sauce.

serves 4

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 sticks of celelry, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely choopped
1 small leek, white only finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
500g minced beef
400g tinned tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 beef stock cube
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 dessertspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teapsoons dried oregano
1 bay leaf

Sweat the onion, celery, carrot, leek and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Do not allow to colour. In a seperate pan, fry the mince until brown, then drain in a colander capturing the fat and juices in a bowl. Allow to settle, then spoon off most of the fat. Add the mince and meat juices to the vegetables, along with all the remaining ingredients. Add water if necessary to cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for an hour. Serve over pasta with chilli flakes and grated hard cheese of your choice.


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