The smell of onions and garlic gently simmering on a crisp sunny morning is not for everyone admittedly, however for me it’s like heaven I get transported back to my Grandparents house high up in the mountains in a small and beautifully traditional village in Italy. My Nonna would be busy preparing lunch for that day and she was not alone in this morning ritual, preparing the sauce for the day ahead was and still is the most important part of the day. This is when family and friends come together and appreciate the food that has been lovingly prepared.. I can still smell all the different flavours that filled the room, so wonderful and delicious.
Unfortunately there never seems to be enough time for such luxury these days, I am lucky to grab a banana in the morning let alone prepare a meal. So when the week is finally done and I have a little time to relax, I like nothing more than throwing on my pinny and indulging myself in the kitchen.
In my opinion a good sauce needs to be handled with care, lovingly simmered not boiled so that all the fantastic ingredients you have selected become an amazing symphony of rich flavours.
So with this mind I wanted to share with you one of my favourite sauces.
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 celery stick, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 glove of garlic minced (Optional)
- Traditionally garlic is not used but I love garlic! and also think it gives the sauce a little extra something.
- 4 slices of panceta diced
- 250g minced beef
- 250g minced pork
- 2 x chopped tomatoes tinned
- 100ml red wine (or white wine)
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Salt & Pepper for flavour
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan, add the onion, garlic (if using) celery and carrot and sweat on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes (commonly known as a soffitto), add the panceta and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the onion has softened.
- Stir in the wine, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and oregano with the empty tin from the tomatoes fill with water add to the sauce, season with with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and simmer slowly for at least 2 hrs - if you have the time then simmer for longer, the longer it is simmering the richer the sauce will become.
- Occasionally stir and add more water if the sauce so that it does not become dry.
- Serve with your favorite pasta.
- Adding a dash of milk just before serving will give the sauce a little extra creaminess.