Food for Friends

Ragù Bolognese Serves 6

Lunch with Michael that day was left-over ragù Bolognese served with home made spaghetti.

Ingredients: 1kg fine mince beef, 3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 medium onions (finely chopped), 3 - 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), 4 - 5 chicken livers (chopped), 250 grams unsmoked streaky bacon or unsmoked pancetta (cut into small cubes), 500 grams skinned chopped fresh ones or 2 tins of tomatoes, a glass of red wine, tomoto pureè 2 teaspoons of dry basil, 2 bay leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish.

1. Heat some oil in a frying pan and brown the beef in a frying pan to take out any water. You may need to do this in batches, draining off any liquid before adding more beef. When each batch is browned remove the beef with a slatted spoon and put aside.

2. Then, in a large cooking pot, heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 - 6 minutes, then add bacon or pancetta and chicken livers, cook for a further 4 - 5 minutes. When this is cooked add the browned mince, tomatoes, tomato pureè, wine, basil and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, stir well and cook very gently for at least a couple of hours, longer if possible.

3. The sauce can either be serve directly as Bolognese with spaghetti or layer with lasagna, white sauce and cheese and bake in the oven a further 30 - 40 minutes.