There’s a vast difference between pasta with a bit of a mince meat on top and ragu’. If you want that rich deep flavour, make sure the meat isn’t overcrowded while it’s cooking and that it goes into a very hot pan so that it really browns off on the outside. If you rush and just throw in all the other ingredients when it’s an insipid grey colour I promise you the flavour will suffer.
In a large frying pan brown off 100g pancetta and 500g minced beef. Meanwhile, in a big pot cook 1 diced onion, 3/4 cup diced celery, 3/4 cup diced carrots in a splash of olive oil until soft and transparent. Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and cook only for a minute so as not to brown. Add the meat to the vegetable pot and pour over 3 cups of tomato passata or crushed tinned tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, a pinch of oregano, 1/4 cup red wine, a generous pinch of sea salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 bay leaves. Cook on a high heat to for 5 minutes before reducing to a simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened. If it is drying out add more tinned tomatoes or even a little vegetable stock. If your sauce is too thin and lacks body, add half a cup of pasta water once the pasta is almost ready and has leaked its starch into the water. Serve with tagliatelle pasta.