A recipe from the Good Food collection.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
6 anchovies, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 thyme sprigs, plus extra, to garnish
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) minced (ground) veal, not too lean
90 g (3 1/4 oz/1 cup) chopped Swiss brown mushrooms
100 g (3 1/2 oz) tomato paste (concentrated purée)
200 ml (7 fl oz) white wine
2 × 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 small handful basil, torn
350 g (12 oz) spaghetti
50 g (1 3/4 oz/1/2 cup) shaved parmesan
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the anchovies, garlic and thyme sprigs and cook for a further 1 minute, or until the anchovies have dissolved.
2. Increase the heat to high, add the veal and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until light golden, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
4. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium–low, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 30–40 minutes, or until the ragù is thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and adjust the seasoning to taste. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
6. When the ragù is nearly ready, add the spaghetti to a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
7. For the next day, reserve about 375 g (13 oz/1 1/2 cups) of the ragù for the baked stuffed eggplants. (The ragù can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 weeks.)
8. Divide the spaghetti among serving bowls. Spoon the ragù over the top. Scatter with shaved parmesan and extra thyme sprigs and serve.