Quick beef ragu

Quick beef ragu

By
From
Sicily
Serves
8

This meaty, as opposed to tomatoey, ragu makes the ideal filling for the Arancine and is perfect with pasta too. Longer-cooking and fattier minced (ground) beef will give you a better, richer flavour, as the sauce concentrates, but when time is short this version is perfectly fine. Estrattu is a rich, concentrated tomato paste which is very important in Sicilian cooking. Many people still make their own in summer with the abundance of cheap, ripe tomatoes. You will see mounds of it for sale in the markets. Do bring some home and use it in place of tomato purée, but it is salty so be careful with additional seasoning.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed
500g lean minced beef
4 tablespoons tomato puree
100ml full-bodied red wine, such as Nero d’Avola
salt
small pinch ground cloves

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the carrot, celery, onion and garlic over a medium heat until softened, around 5 minutes. Add the minced beef and stir through for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato purée, red wine, two good pinches of salt and the ground cloves. Cook for around 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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