Sunday, 6 March 2016

Recipes from Rome - Rachel's Ragu

Ragu isn't necessarily a recipe that you would normally associate with Rome. However Restaurant Colline Emiliane, near the Trevi fountain, specialises in dishes from the Emilia Romagna region, home of the aforementioned ragu.
We need to sample the Lasagne at this restaurant on our next trip to Rome but for now I am using Rachel Roddy's recipe for Guardian Cook. It can also be found in her fabulous cookbook 'Five Quarters'

The quartet of onion, carrot, celery and pancetta (known as the ' battuto) is softened in butter & oil until fragrant & glistening.

 I made my first mistake here by not taking note of how small to cut up the vegetables (Rachel says 'finely chopped')
The bay leaves go in at this point too. These aren't just any bay leaves - they are bay leaves harvested from our sweet little terrace in Rome last summer & dried in the hot July sun.

The meat goes in once the vegetables are softened & is stirred until browned.

Wine goes in next & is left to evaporate for a couple of minutes before it is joined by the tomato puree which has been dissolved in water. It is now left to simmer gently until almost all the liquid has disappeared. I found that this took much longer than the 30 minutes in the recipe.
The final step is to add the full fat milk in stages whilst it 'blips & burps' away. By this time the kitchen is filled with the most gorgeous aroma - shut your eyes and you could be in Italy!

The correct pasta to use is a ribbon pasta such as tagliatelle, fettuccine or pappardelle but I'm using capricci, much easier to manage whilst watching 'Saturday Night Takeaway'


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