1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
600 g pack minced beef steak
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
150 ml red wine (or use extra beef stock)
500 ml beef stock
400 g spaghetti
50 g grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve (optional)
side salad, to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, celery and carrot. Fry over a medium heat for 10 mins, stirring now and then, until softened and starting to colour. Stir in the mince and cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add the tomato purée, garlic and thyme, and cook for 1-2 mins more. Pour in the wine, if using, and increase the heat to boil off most of the alcohol. Reduce the heat, stir in the stock and season. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave to cook gently for 1 hr-1 hr 15 mins until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Remove the lid and continue cooking for 15 mins. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions. Reserve a mugful of the cooking water, then drain the spaghetti and add to the ragu with the Parmesan. Toss well and add a little pasta water to help the sauce coat the spaghetti. Serve with a side salad and extra cheese, if you like.