Lightly Spiced Meat and Tomato Sauce
( SERVES 4 )
Even a slow-cooked minced meat and tomato sauce has a livelier character when you use ripe fresh tomatoes instead of canned. This all-purpose sauce can be served with pasta or as a filling for a meat pie or lasagna-style dish, or simply piled onto toast.
- Put the oil, onion (finely diced), carrot (peeled and finely diced) and celery (finely diced) into a large, heavy saucepan over a moderate heat and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent, but not browned. Add the minced meats and continue to cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.
- Sprinkle with the spices, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Cook until the meat loses its pinkness and starts to brown. If you wish, blanch and peel the tomatoes. Or simply core and roughly cut them up before adding to the saucepan. Stir and bring to a simmer. Partly cover the saucepan by tilting a lid over it and simmer for at least an hour. Check the seasonings.
- May be served straight away or cooled, covered and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.