400g beef mince
700g jar tomato passata
2-3 medium sized red onions
2 medium carrots
3 sticks celery
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 bay leaves
Chop the onions roughly and fry in olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan until soft. Slosh in a little bit of balsamic vinegar, and if you’re in a hurry for the onions to caramelise add a teaspoon of sugar. Dice carrots and chop celery then add to the onions. Season with salt and pepper and throw in the bay leaves. Add more olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables. Cook on moderate heat for a further five minutes or so. Add the minced beef, stirring vigorously to break up any clumps
Once the meat is browned, pour in the passata. Using the now-empty passata jar, half-fill it with water, put the lid back on and shake it up to get the residual tomato and pour it all into the pot. Turn up the heat until it’s bubbling vigorously, then reduce to a simmer for at least twenty minutes. Taste when cooked through and season with salt and pepper as required.
The longer you cook this sauce, the better it will taste, just make sure that you add more fluid so it doesn’t dry out and burn. You can add red wine and stock to it for a richer flavour.
Serve with your favourite pasta, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley and grated cheese.