Ingredients for the Ragu Sauce: 1 onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 carrot, 1 celery, 1 bay leaf 400g can tomatoes, 1 x 5ml spoon cumin for a spicy sauce or 1 x 5ml spoon mixed herbs or handful fresh basil for a herby sauce.
1. Peel onion. Make a bridge with your hand and cut the onion in half. Put the flat sides down on the board.
2. Hold the onion firmly with your hand like a claw. Slice across without cutting through the root.
3. Turn the onion round and still holding it like a claw, slice in the other direction.
4. Cut off the top and bottom of the carrot and peel away from yourself. Some carrots may only need scraping.
8. Put all ingredients into a saucepan and mix well. Simmer gently over a medium heat for 20–30 minutes with a lid on the pan.
Ingredients for the meatballs: 500g lean minced beef, 1 onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 egg, 1 x 15ml spoon plain flour, 2 x 5ml spoons mixed herbs or basil and/or oregano.
9. Peel and finely chop the onion (see slides 1–3). Crush the garlic. Put into a bowl with the lean minced beef.
13. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. It should make about 20-22.
15. To cook the meatballs, heat up approximately 3 x 15ml spoons oil in a frying pan.
16. When the oil is hot, fry the meatballs in two or three batches to prevent overcrowding the pan. Turn over to make sure all sides are evenly browned.
17. After about 10 minutes, the meatballs should be brown and crisp on the outside. To make sure they are fully cooked, cut one in half – the meat should be brown all the way through. Drain on kitchen paper.
18. By now the Ragu sauce should be cooked. Use a hand blender to make a smooth sauce.
19. To cook spaghetti, add a little oil to a large saucepan half full of water and bring to the boil. The oil stops the pasta sticking together. Measure out 200g dried spaghetti.
20. When the water is boiling, add the spaghetti to the pan. Keep it boiling without a lid for 12–15 minutes. When cooked it should be ‘al dente’ which means it should still be slightly firm but not hard.