Carluccio's Always Right...
According to Antonio Carluccio we're all "too obsessed with sticking loads of herbs in every Italian dish". Writing in the Metro, Antonio explained that the Brits are ruining classic Italian dishes by adding unnecessary ingredients. "Bolognese, or tagliatelle al ragu, is so important in Italy that their Chamber of Commerce asked the Italian Academy of Cooking to write an official recipe back in 1982." This recipe from Antonio Carluccio isn't the strict Academy version but it is a classic ragu using beef/veal and pork, that foregoes the various British additions and it's very, very tasty.
The starting point for this recipe is patience. The ingredients are simple so take time to prepare them properly and don't rush. Fry pancetta in a little butter, adding chopped celery, carrot and onion (we only had shallots, but close enough!). Sweat down for 10 minutes until tender then brown the meat, a mixture of beef or veal and pork. before adding red wine and tomato paste.
There is as much veg as meat and no garlic, herbs or tinned tomatoes. You're creating a ragu to coat your pasta, not a pile of meat to sit on top of it. Add beef or chicken stock and gently simmer for an hour and a half, adding a little stock as necessary to keep the sauce from drying out. The long slow simmer creates bags of favour,
When you're ready to serve, cook your pasta* until just al dente then mix with your ragu. Serve with a little parmesan cheese and the knowledge that you're eating 'authentic' Italian cuisine.
*Ok. So we understand that different shaped pasta exists to serve a particular function and that spaghetti is absolutely wrong for this dish but..... the Gents just love linguine. It's flat like tagliatelle, although a little thinner. We're sorry Antonio, but at least we didn't add herbs!