It’s Lisa’s hearty Italian Ragu!

If February is the month of love, then Lisa’s hearty Italian Ragu is the recipe you’ve been waiting for. In fact, in the wise words of Elisa Cuthbert, there’s nothing more romantic than Italian food. Apparently.

If there’s someone you want to impress, you could do worse than knocking this up for tea. It’s part of our very own Chatter cookbook calendar, too – let us know if you want one!

The sauce

Extra virgin olive oil, 800g good quality stewing steak (2cm dice), 1 carrot trimmed and thinly sliced, 1 leek trimmed and thinly sliced, 1 celery stick thinly sliced, 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped, a ‘glug' of red wine (small glass), 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, 300ml stock (chicken or beef, dun’t matter), 1 bay leaf, 1 small dried red chilli (crumbled) and sea salt.

The pasta

Tagliatelle or fettuccine, salted butter and grated parmesan.

The cooking bit

  1. Oven at 120c.
  2. You’ll need a big ovenproof pan or casserole pot you can use on the hob.
  3. Heat half of the oil and colour the beef (you might need to do in two stints).
  4. Add the remaining oil, add carrot, leek and celery and fry until it starts to colour and stir in the garlic just before the end.
  5. Pop the beef back in the pan, add the wine, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf and chilli, and season with a bit of salt.
  6. Bring to the boil, cover and cook in the oven for about 3 hours, then stir and cook uncovered for another hour.
  7. When you’re ready, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just about tender, drain and return to the pan with plenty of salted butter.
  8. Serve the sauce with a buttery nest of pasta scattered with parmesan.


TOP TIP: to make it extra special, you can serve with a few scattered croutons to finish and fresh ‘torn’ basil too.