Classic Italian Ragu (works well for under 5s too!)

My daughter, like most kids does not like to eat her five portions of veg a day.  She does however love pasta with meat sauce.

So, always firm in my belief that something really tasty will always be eaten I give you my take on a classic Italian ragu that is more that good enough for the grown ups – just remember to save a bit for the kids.

Serves: enough for 10-12 portions


500g minced veal
500g minced pork ( you can just use 1kg of any old minced meat, but try this mix if you can)
2 onions finely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp oil
2 cans plum tomatoes
500ml good quality veal (or beef or chicken) stock
2 carrots grated
I courgette grated
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
4 large Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Plenty if freshly grated Parmesan to serve


1.  Place onion in pan with oil and gently soften without browning. This will take around 8 mins on a low heat with lid on.
2. Add minced garlic and cook for 2 mins
3. Place onion and garlic in a bowl and place chopped bacon in pan on gentle heat until fat begins to render.
4. Add minced meats to pan in small batches and gently brown.
5. once brown, turn out onto bowl with onion and garlic.
6. Put grated courgette and carrot in pan and fry until it begins to soften.
7. Add meat/onion mixture  back to pan and stir together for a few minutes until well combined
8. Add tomatoes and stock to the pan and bring to the boil.  Once boiled, turn down heat and simmer for around an hour. Keep an eye on the pan to ensure it does not go dry and stir every now and then.
9. Once Ragu looks thick and glorious, stir through basil and season to taste.

Serve with your favourite pasta, plenty of good parmesan and either apple juice or a nice chianti (depending on whether you are dining with plastic bibs or candlelight)…