For four starter sized portions.
400 Grams of lean mince (mixed pork and beef is best)
One packet of pancetta (smoked is best)
Handful of chopped mushrooms
A jar of tomato passata or a tin of finely chopped plum tomatoes or make your own passata by blending a large tin of plum tomatoes
A couple of bay leaves and two teaspoons of oregano
One stock cube ….if needed
A stick of celery (only if you like the taste of celery!) and a large red onion
One large or two smaller cloves of garlic
Half a teaspoon of nutmeg and a teaspoon of oregano. Pinch of Chilli .
A small glass of red wine
Half a cup or small carton of single cream or milk.
Put chopped onion and garlic with the pancetta in a medium saucepan
No oil needed. Cook on high heat till cooked and good deep pink colour. ..about five minutes
Add meat and cook for a further five minutes on high heat.
Add everything else except the cream or milk.
Add the wine and then boil for two minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
Add milk or cream and turn down heat.
Put on lid and simmer gently for forty minutes. Keep checking. If it is going dry add more passata
After forty minutes it should be nice and creamy and rich. Taste and season with black pepper.
If not thick enough add tomato purée.
Bring a large pan to the boil. Add a teaspoon of salt.
You will need about 2/3 ozs of Pici per person as a starter.
Drop Pici in bubbling water for about fifteen minutes. Keep testing.
When al dente transfer directly from water into the pan of sauce. Stir gently and heat for two minutes until the pasta is well coated.
Serve with grated Parmeasan cheese.
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Maisie’s Ragu and Pici
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