If you only ever cook one recipe of mine, make it this one. I am almost certain that I’ve said this before, but I promise you, this is something you’re going to want to try!
It’s one of those meals that’s really lovely to cook. It’s a Sunday afternoon, relaxing at home kind of dinner, and the bonus is, it fills the house with the most wonderful smells. Yes, it takes some time to cook, but actual hands on time is only about 15 minutes – it cooks itself.
Most ragu recipes call for beef and red wine. I haven’t used these for two reasons. I wanted to keep this recipe cheap. By using the pork mince (which is usually sold by the 750g) it massively reduces the price, but still gives an incredible flavour. Maybe it’s me but I just don’t have ‘spare wine’ to use in recipes. If I buy wine, it’s for drinking! I really don’t think it makes much difference to the flavour and again, makes it more affordable. If you are more of a grown up than I am, and keep cooking wine in the house, substitute 150ml of the beef stock for some red wine.
This makes a big meal, especially when you add pasta. Me and the boys each had a huge bowl of it for lunch and there was still plenty left over. I would say it feeds 6-8 depending on portion size.
Although I made this on the hob, I think it would work really well in a slow cooker – I would love to hear from you if you try it out!
If you like the recipes on this blog, why not order a copy of my book The Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook
- 750g pork mince
- 500g passata
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 500ml boiling water mixed with 2 beef stock cubes
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbls dried thyme
- Olive oil for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery and place in a large, non-stick saucepan (with a lid). Drizzle with a little olive oil and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add finely chopped garlic, sugar and dried thyme and fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the pork to the pan and fry for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the meat is sealed.
- Add the stock, passata and chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir. Simmer covered for 1 and 1/4 hours.
- Give the ragu a stir, season with salt and pepper and simmer for a further 30 minutes uncovered. Leave to rest for 15 minutes whilst you cook to pasta.
- Mix the ragu with the pasta and finish with a little grated cheese and chopped parsley.
- The ragu also goes really well in wraps, with rice or on a jacket potato.