Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spaghetti Al Ragù

I am a veg and, apart from not eating any animal (and yes, fish too are animals, salmons don’t sprout in fields), I am not keen on cooking any animal, mostly because I hate the smell of cooking meat and fish. Today though I pegged my nose and made a very successful ragù, the classic sauce which is known as bolognese (and this, my friends, is the right spelling).

I am sick to death of all talks of frugality, especially when they come from people that needn’t be frugal, and I scoff at suggestions that certain foods are wildly more expensive than others. Yes, sure, if you chomp on Beluga daily and wash it down with a bottle of Bolli per session you may be over-spending and under-eating, but anything other than this is neither expensive nor intellectually taxing to prepare. Don’t be scared by the (supposed) high cost of the beef, this feeds four people and can be frozen too! Ideally, ragù goes on tagliatelle, but I haven’t got the machine (nor the space) to make those and so it was spaghetti for Rick instead.

500g minced Aberdeen Angus beef
one small stick of celery
one small piece of carrot
one small onion
sea salt
olive oil
500ml passata
200ml hot water

Splash some olive oil in a deep casserole-type pan and warm on high. Peel the onion, cut in small pieces and do the same with the carrot. Also cut the celery and now grab a mezzaluna and work these vegetables until they are reduced to a mushy mess, the same that you would use as a risotto base.

Drop this into the pan with the oil (and watch it, it will fry and it’s hot...), stir well with a wooden spoon and fry until the onion has only just started to brown. Now add the minced beef (break it down with the wooden spoon), stir well, add the passata and the hot water. Add a small fist of sea salt, stir well and leave on high heat for approximately five or so minutes, until it’s all cooking fast and furious.

Lower the heat to medium high and leave to cook, covered, for approximately twenty minutes. Serve this on spaghetti al dente and don’t be stingy with the Parmesan. Abundance is key.
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