About this recipe:This is the southern Italian version of bolognese known as Neapolitan ragù. It's made with pork belly, beef pieces and lots of tomato passata. It needs to cook for hours to reach the correct consistency and colour. Ragù is a legendary dish in Naples, each family has its own recipe and some grandmas used to cook the sauce for an entire night. There's not such a thing as quick ragù!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
100g fresh pork belly fat, cubed
400g beef stewing steak, cut into 5cm cubes
1 glass (240ml) red wine
800g tomato passata
salt, to taste
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
400g pasta, any shape, semolina or egg
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
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Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; add chopped onion, celery and carrot and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the pork belly and cook for a few minutes to release the fat. Increase heat and stir in beef; cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is browned on all sides.
Add wine and simmer until the alcohol evaporates. Stir in tomato passata, salt and sugar. Reduce heat, cover and cook the sauce for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 5 hours. The longer, the better. As the meat cooks, the sauce will get thicker and darker in colour. The meat should be tender enough to tear with a fork.
Once the sauce is ready, cook your favourite type of pasta according to the directions on the packet.
Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Prepare in advance
This is the perfect sauce to prepare in advance. Standing for a few hours (actually up to 24) will only benefit the taste of the finished dish!