Angela Hartnett's recipe for spaghetti bolognaise

Serves 4

2 tbs olive oil
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g chuck steak, finely diced
150g veal rump, finely diced
3 tbs tomato purée
100ml white or red wine
300-500ml water or chicken stock
400g dried spaghetti
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of grated parmesan, to serve

Heat the oil over a low heat in a heavy-based pan. When hot, add the vegetables and garlic and cook gently, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (do not allow to colour). Add the diced meat and colour slightly for a minute or two. Add the tomato purée and cook for 4-5 minutes (this ensures it acts as a thickening agent and does not overpower the meat).

Add the wine, turn up the heat a little and allow to bubble and reduce. Cover with the water or stock and stir well. Cover with a cartouche (a circle of baking parchment). A good bolognaise should cook for at least 3-4 hours over a very low heat, but check it every hour and give it a stir. If necessary, add a touch of water so it does not dry out. When cooked, it should have formed a lovely thick sauce. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the bolognaise. Season, then serve sprinkled with parmesan.

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