Tortiglioni al Ragú

Ragú is probably one of the most world-famous recipes for pasta, although you probably know it as Bolognese sauce. Although there are some technical differences between the two, they are minimal – and for someone just looking to cook themselves a quick meal on a lazy Sunday, there is no difference. This is a pretty simple, standard pasta that (as usual) tastes great, but don’t expect anything wildly interesting. While it’s very easy to make, I do have to point out one thing – please, please, please once the pasta has been drained and is back in the pot, mix the sauce together with it. For some reason non-Italians seem to love serving the pasta with a glob of sauce on top, which not only looks horrible to anybody who knows pasta, but also makes it incredibly impractical to eat. After all – you’re going to have to mix everything together anyway, so why not just make your life easier and mix it in a pot? Oh and one last thing, the classic pasta to make with ragú is spaghetti. Unfortunately I’d run out of spaghetti when I made this, so I made it with tortiglioni. Either way it’s a pretty neutral sauce which would work with pretty much whatever pasta you have in the house. Alright, enough of this – time to cook!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 400g tortiglioni (or any other pasta)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 hot chili pepper
  • 100g vegan mince
  • 500g pelati (peeled plum tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

Preparation (40 minutes)

Slice the onion and throw into a pan with some olive oil, on medium heat. Peel the garlic, cut each clove in two or three pieces (depending on how big they are), and add to the pan. Chop the chili into small pieces and add that to the pan as well. When the onions start turning brown, and all of the onions are at least golden, add the mince. Stir everything together well, then add some salt and some black pepper. Keep cooking until the mince starts getting a little crunchy, then add the pelati. Stir everything together well, and after about 10 minutes you should see the tomatoes starting to disintegrate. Mush them into a sauce and mix, at this point there shouldn’t be any pieces of tomato in in the sauce. Lower the heat, to minimum, and leave to simmer while making the pasta. At this point fill a large pot up with water, bring it to a boil, then throw in a handful of salt and the pasta. Keep stirring every 2 minutes or so, and tasting it after 7. About 1 minute before what it says on the pack the pasta should be ready, but taste it just in case. Once it’s cooked, drain the water and throw the pasta back in the pot. Add the sauce, stir well, and serve, and then let me know if you enjoyed it!