Mid-Week Meals

Pasta with Osso Bucco Ragu

2kg veal shin (or oxtail), in 4cm pieces on the bone

3 tbs plain flour

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 sticks of celery, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 red peppers, diced

1 litres veal or beef stock

1 litre tomato passata (or two tins of tomatoes)

200ml red wine

2 tbs fresh parsley

1tsp black pepper, cracked

1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning

3 cloves (optional)

2 bay leaves

5 tbs vegetable oil

800g penne or rigatoni or papardalle pasta

50g butter

 

To serve gremolata and buratta (optional)

1 lemon, zest grated

1 clove of garlic, ground to a paste with a little salt

1 tbs finely chopped parsley

200g buratta or mozzarella cheese

Heat 1tbs of the oil in a deep casserole pan, add the chopped vegetables. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until soft, then remove to a dish and set aside. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a dish and coat the veal or oxtail, shaking off any excess. Add the remainder of the oil to the pan and sear the meat for 3 minutes on each side until golden (cook in batches). Add the wine to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, scraping any caramelised meat juices from the base of the pan. Return the vegetables to the pan with the meat and add the stock, passata, cloves and bay leaves and stir until the meat is submerged. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Let it cook over a gentle heat for 3 hours, stirring from time to time. When the meat has reached a point where it is falling off the bone remove it from the pan and allow it to cool a little before forking the meat and the marrow from the bone. Return the meat and marrow to the sauce along with the parsley. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta to your taste. Drain the pasta and toss in the pan with the butter and a little black pepper. Serve with the ragu.

To make the gremolata, combine the lemon zest with the garlic and parsley. Serve as a condiment alongside the ragu. You can also offer a plate of buratta or mozzarella cheese for diners to add to their dish. Neither of them are essential but they do elevate the dish from a week night supper to a special occasion meal.

The ragu keeps for a week in the fridge or you can freeze it (without the pasta). If frozen, place in the fridge overnight to defrost then heat gently in a pan for 10-15 minutes stirring regularly until piping hot, or see our tips opposite to cook straight from frozen. Serves 6