This recipe is for a simple but yummy meat sauce, that can be used with pasta as bolognese, or as a base for other dishes like lasagna, baked macaroni, or chilli con carne. Although not particularly complicated, it does take some time, so you may want to make a large batch and freeze a few portions once you’re at it. You will need:
800g minced beef, or mixed pork and beef
1 medium sized onion
2 cloves garlic
1 can of tomato chunks (polpa)
1 can of tomato puree (passata)
1 small can of Kunserva (this is a traditional maltese concentrated tomato paste)
2 glasses of wine, red or white.
Start by finely chopping the onion and garlic, throw into a large pan or casserole, and fry until the onions soften. Pour yourself a glass of wine.
Add the mince. As it cooks, the clumps of meat will start to break up. Once there are no sticky lumps of uncooked meat, throw in the carrot. You can chop or grate it, depending on what texture you like. Pour in a glass of wine and turn the heat up a little. Stir the mixture and make sure none of it has stuck to the bottom (little bits of burnt food will ruin the whole sauce)
Next, add the three cans of tomato. Stir well, and once the sauce starts to simmer, lower the heat as much as possible, keeping the sauce bubbling slightly.
Bring out a good book and relax. Let the sauce simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally, until the meat and tomato are more or less the same colour. This usually takes a little more than an hour. The flavour of this sauce will actually improve if you leave it to sit overnight.
As a guideline, the quantities mentioned above are enough to make a dish of lasagna for 6 people.