It’s time to take a pause from all the salads and grilled food, I think you all need some meaty comfort food. At least we did. Ragus are Italian based meat sauces, usually served on pasta and usually cooked long and slow.
This is a sauce which uses crushed fennel seeds, raw fennel as an aromatic, and Italian sausage, with, well, obviously: fennel. That said, the anise flavour is in subtle enough quantities that it adds an extra sweetness to the overall sauce and brings out the light flavour of the veal and pork. Grab your sweetie and a bottle of chanti.
Italian Sausage and Veal Ragu(serves 4)
In a large Dutch oven or saucepan heat a pan to medium low. Add the olive oil, onions, carrots and fennel. Add a pinch of salt and the fresh herbs as well. Sweat for 5 minutes or until nice and soft. In the meantime remove the sausage from it's casing. Add the sausage meat and the ground veal to the pot. Use a fork to bring it up gently, stir often so that it cooks event and continue to break it up. When almost all the meat is no longer pink add the tomato passata. Simmer for at least an hour stirring every once and a while. Before serving taste and adjust salt. Serve on top of fresh fettucine noodles topped with grated Parmesan cheese.