One of the best memories I have and carry with me from my childhood, is waking up to the smell of my mum’s ragù on a Sunday morning filling every room in my home. It was like a warm hug - what a beautiful way to wake up! That smell would tell me that I had lasagne or pappardelle to look forward to, and that friends or family would be coming round for a meal with us to spend some quality time together. Food really brings people together, and for me personally nothing does it better than a great ragù cooking on the stove for hours.
I hope you enjoy my family recipe - a reminder of the comforts of home and getting together! Un abbraccio, Alberto
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings)
1 celery stem, chopped finely
1 whole onion, chopped finely
1 whole carrot, chopped into small cubes
70ml - 1/3 Cup red wine
40ml - 2 1/4 Tbsp soy milk
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
700g Tomato passata
1Tbsp Tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
280g Lorne Style Sausage
350g pasta (I love pappardelle!)
WHAT TO DO
1. Heat up a god amount of water in a large pot. Tip: use plenty of water and add some rock salt once the water is boiling.
2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the sauce! Add the oil to a pre-heated pan, then add the prepared celery, carrot and onion (this is called a soffritto!) - let it cook over low/medium heat until translucent, around 5 minutes.
3. Mash the Lorne Style Sausage and add it to the pan, stir and allow it to crisp up for around 2 minutes.
4. Add the red wine and let it cook for a further 2 minutes, so that the alcohol content evaporates leaving the flavour without the bitterness. Then add the soy milk, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Finally, add the tomato passata and tomato paste, and stir.
5. Add the whole rosemary sprigs (they will be removed before adding the pasta to the sauce) and a pinch of black pepper and salt to taste.
6. Cook the sauce for a further 5 to 10 minutes until some of the water from the tomato passata has evaporated and the right consistency as been achieved. You could also lower the heat right down to a minimum, and let it cook for a few hours if you have the time! The longer it cooks, the tastier it will become.
7. At last - make the Pasta! Add the pasta to the boiling water (remember the salt!) and cook it until al dente, following package instructions.
8. Drain and add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and stir it all together. Serve and enjoy with a full bodied red wine, or your favourite non-alcoholic beverage!