Veal and Pancetta Ragu
Italian inspired dish has a long cooking time but is packed full of flavour from the veal mince, pancetta, dried mushrooms and red wine for a rich, satisfying pasta supper.
- 450g lean veal mince
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 100m warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 50g pancetta cubes or thick cut back bacon, diced
- Small handful fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 100ml dry red wine
- 1 sachet bouquet garni
- 300ml good, hot beef stock
- 1-2 tablespoons crème fraîche or double cream
- 300g dried pappardelle or rigatoni pasta
- Freshly grated Parmesan, to garnish
- Fresh thyme leaves, to garnish
- Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid, roughly chop and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the mince, onion, celery and garlic under a low heat for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the pancetta or bacon and thyme leaves. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomato purée, nutmeg, wine and bouquet garni. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, the reserved liquid and stock. Season.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer on the hob for 1-1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir through the crème fraîche or double cream and remove the bouquet garni.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and return to the pan.
- Add the veal ragù and toss to coat. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan, fresh thyme leaves. Serve with winter salad and garlic bread.