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Deliciously rich pancetta and red wine ragu

Everyone loves a ragu, be it on spaghetti, rice, wedges (try it, it's amazing) mash or just in a bowl with some nice thick bread.

The addition of pancetta and some red wine makes this deliciously rich, and a few additional ingredients really elevate the flavour, making this a perfect winter warmer.

The below recipe is a go-to for me, it's easy and straight forward to make and don't let the slightly long simmer time put you off, as it can easily be frozen (eat within 1 month) and is delicious the next day for lunch.

With this recipe you're sure to have a hit on your hands however you serve it.


Prep Time : 30 mins plus 1 hour simmer

Serves : 5

Difficulty : medium

500gr minced beef

70gr pancetta or bacon lardons

1 pepper

1 large onion

1 carrot

2 cloves garlic

1/2 chilli (optional)

180ml red wine

2 tablespoon tomato puree

500ml passata or crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon smoke paprika

2 teaspoon oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 vegetable stock cube (I use Kallo low salt)

1 - Chop the onion, pepper and carrot, make sure not to chop them too fine or they will disintegrate when they're cooking.

2 - Grate the garlic and if using, chop the chilli up finely.

3 - In a heavy bottomed saucepan or a wide saute pan cook the onion, pepper and carrots until the onions start to sweat (they will start to go translucent) then add the garlic and if using, the chilli.

4 - Fry for about 3-4 minutes then add the bacon and fry for a further few minutes, then add the minced beef and brown.

5 - Add all the herbs and spices along with the passata and once bubbling, add the red wine, tomato puree and the vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 150ml of boiling water.

6 - Once everything is bubbling away nicely add the bay leaf, put the heat down as low as it can go, put the lid on the pan and let simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and then.

If at any point the sauce is getting too thick or reducing down too much, just add half a cup of water.

**The key here is to taste, taste, taste as you go, remember that you are adding stock when you are adding salt, or think about the heat of the chilli and who you're cooking for when choosing how much add**

Eat like an Italian* - have this as a rich bolognaise, serve with spaghetti, cheese and garlic bread.

*Apologies to all Italians, I'm sure this in many ways deviates from your Nona's delicious recipe*

Winter warmer - make it a real winter warmer, add the whole chilli, along with some hot

paprika for a real kick, then serve with some crusty bread in a bowl with a sprinkling of a good creamy cheddar

But I was TRYING to be healthy - swap out beef for turkey mince and when frying use an olive oil spray instead of butter. Instead of bacon lardons slice up some lean smoked bacon or turkey rashers.

*Disclaimer, this will not be as rich but is still delicious and super tasty (and slightly more waistline friendly).

The ultimate guilty pleasure - Cook up some potato wedges, pour some of this delicious ragu on top and cover with grated cheese, pop it back in the oven for a real guilty pleasure (a hit on movie night.)

It's also delicious on (but not limited to)


-Baked potato

-Sloppy Joes


-Pretty much everything



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