So you've (read: "I") just discovered that you can actually make pasta at home without too much fuss…now you need a sauce that is going to really show off your pasta handiwork. My sister showed me how to make strozzapreti using a recipe her Italian friend's mum taught her when she visited the Emilio-Romagnia region of Italy. She insisted that this ragu is the ONLY sauce to have with freshly made pasta. I'm not a massive fan of tomato based sauces so it took a little coercing but I'm glad my arm was twisted - it's ridiculously tasty and uses only a few simple ingredients!
As with a lot of sauces, this ragu can be cooked quite quickly and although your mouth will start watering and you'll want to keep going back the pan to "just have a little taste to see how it's getting on/if it needs seasoning/etc", the longer you can leave it simmering, the better! Our sauce gently bubbled away for about 2 hours and it was well worth the wait.
If I make a sauce I tend to season it and add herbs and spices so wasn't sure how this ragu would taste as there's no garlic, no herbs and only a pinch of salt. No garlic!!! What?! Garlic gets added to so many things in my kitchen so I was outside my comfort zone but shouldn't have worried…it didn't need it!
Cube the onion and celery and grate the carrot.
Heat olive oil over a medium heat then add the veg. Stir well so everything is coated in oil and keep stirring until everything has softened.
Add the minced beef and sausage meat to the veg making sure the meat is broken up so there are no big chunks. You can do this with a spatula or spoon but why not get stuck in with your hands?!
Mix the meat and veg together well and then cook until the meat is pretty much cooked all the way through.
Transfer the meat and vegetables to a cooking pot then stir in the tomatoes. Heat over a medium heat until the sauce starts bubbling then turn to a low heat and simmer reeeeeally gently for up to a couple of hours. Taste every so often and add a little salt if needed.
If you somehow manage to find yourself with leftovers just allow the sauce to cool then freeze portions. Defrost in the fridge before reheating until piping hot either in the microwave or on the stove.