Tom Kerridge's Spaghetti bolognese

Serves: 4


For the beef ragu:
700g beef mince
4 star anise
4 cloves
1.4kg plum tomatoes
50g caster sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
200g diced pancetta
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2tbsp dried oregano
100g Demerara sugar
4 bay leaves
200ml red wine
100ml red wine vinegar
300g button mushrooms
600ml beef stock
4 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp sage, chopped
400g dried spaghetti
100g parmesan, grated
50g butter to dress the pasta
½ tsp black pepper 


To make the beef ragu:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.

2. Place the mince into a roasting tray, put into the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon, place the star anise and cloves into a tied muslin bag and add them to the mince, put the mince back into the oven and roast for a further 8-10 minutes.

3. Stir again and put back into the oven. Cook until the mince is dark brown and looks as if it’s been fried.

4. Remove the mince from the oven and drain the fat from the meat through a colander. Set aside.

5. For the sauce cut the tomatoes in half and place them onto a baking tray. Dust them with the caster sugar and season. Place them into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they begin to dry out and the flavour intensifies. Remove from the oven and place under a hot grill or blow-torch to char them slightly.

6. Drizzle a little oil into a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Fry the pancetta until evenly coloured, then add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for five minutes till the vegetables start to soften. Add the dried oregano, Demerara sugar, the bay leaves, red wine and the red wine vinegar. Bring up to the boil and reduce the liquor by half, then add the drained beef, tomatoes and the button mushrooms.

7. Pour in the beef stock and bring to the boil once more, and simmer for 1½ hours. As the sauce reduces it will thicken, and the flavour will become more concentrated. Stir in the fresh oregano and sage and season.

8. Bring a pan of water up to the boil, season then add the pasta and simmer for 5-11 minutes or according to the pack instructions.

9. Drain the pasta and toss in butter and black pepper. Serve with the ragu, sprinkled with grated parmesan.