The history of pasta with meat sauce can be traced back to ancient times, with roots in various regions around the Mediterranean.
While it is challenging to pinpoint an exact origin, pasta and meat sauce have been enjoyed in different forms by different cultures throughout history.
Pasta itself predates the combination with meat sauce. Its origins can be traced to ancient China, where noodles made from wheat or rice flour were prepared as early as 2000 BCE.
These noodles were introduced to the Mediterranean region by Arab traders during the Middle Ages.
In Italy, pasta became a staple food by the 13th century, and various types of pasta shapes and sizes were created.
Initially, pasta was often served with simple sauces made from ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
However, as the availability of meat increased, the combination of pasta and meat sauce gained popularity.
The concept of combining pasta with meat sauce, known as “ragù” in Italian, emerged in the regions of southern Italy, particularly in Naples.
Ragù initially referred to a slow-cooked meat-based sauce that often included ingredients like beef, pork, or veal, along with tomatoes, vegetables, and various herbs and spices.
The most famous example of pasta with meat sauce is spaghetti Bolognese, or “spaghetti alla Bolognese.”
Contrary to popular belief, this dish did not originate in the Italian city of Bologna but is rather an adaptation of the traditional ragù from the region.
The Bolognese sauce typically consists of ground or minced meat (such as beef, veal, or pork), onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and sometimes wine or milk.
The sauce is slow-cooked for several hours to develop its rich flavors and then served over cooked pasta.
As Italian immigrants spread around the world, they brought their culinary traditions with them, including pasta with meat sauce.
This dish became widely popular and embraced in various countries, with each region adding its own twist and adaptations.
Today, pasta with meat sauce is enjoyed in countless variations globally.
Different types of meat, herbs, spices, and regional ingredients are used to create unique and flavorful sauces that are paired with a wide range of pasta shapes.
From classic Italian recipes to local variations, pasta with meat sauce remains a beloved dish that has evolved over centuries.
Pasta with ragù sauce
- 350 g PASTA
- 25 g beef mince
- 50 g diced bacon
- 50 g ham strips
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 onion
- 1 celery stem
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 tablespoon tornatoconcentrate
- grated Parmesan
- salt, ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- meat stock as required
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
- Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrot, and celery to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine (if using). Mix well to combine.
- Add the dried oregano, dried basil, sugar, salt, and pepper to the sauce. Stir to incorporate the seasonings.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Serve the spaghetti on individual plates or a large serving dish. Ladle the meat sauce over the spaghetti.
- Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves, if desired.
- Serve hot and enjoy!