This unashamedly tomato-heavy interpretation of the classic ragù bolognese comes from Marine Ices, a London culinary institution. Long, slow simmering brings out the rich flavor of the tomatoes. Thank you, Marine Ices.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Baking time: at least 2 hours
– 1 tbsp olive oil.
– 1 onion, finely chopped.
– 2 celery ribs, finely chopped.
– 2 carrots, finely diced.
– 2lb (1kg) 90% lean ground beef.
– ½ cup dry red wine.
– 6½lb (3kg) ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
– 1 x (6oz) can tomato paste.
– 1 bay leaf.
– freshly grated nutmeg, to taste.
– 1 tbsp butter.
– salt and freshly ground.
– black pepper.
Step 1:Heat the oil in a very large saucepan, and stir in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook gently for 5–10 minutes, until soft but not browned. This initial technique is an example of an Italian soffritto.
Step 2:Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is well browned, stirring constantly and breaking up any large chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
Step 3:Pour in the red wine, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Bring almost to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer the ragù for at least 2 hours, stirring from time to time, until well reduced to a nice thick sauce.
Step 4:Season well with a good pinch of nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Taste, adjusting the seasoning if needed, then stir in the butter. Serve hot with pasta or use as a sauce for lasagna.
Note : The time spent peeling the tomatoes for this recipe may seem a little daunting—but persevere. Your efforts will be well rewarded in the delicious end result.