"We wanted a touchstone with just one or two classics pasta dishes on the menu that people would be familiar with," says chef Dan Pepperell from 10 William St. "We tried a few bolognese recipes and refined them all to make our own. It has a lot of depth with a soffritto base, which we cook for over five hours so it's rich, caramelised and complex."
The secret to this bolognaise is all in the long, slow cooking and good-quality pancetta. The longer you cook the sauce, the better it will be. "If you cook the soffritto for the longest time you can, the sugars intensify and the flavours develop better."
He also suggests that a gentle hand with less traditional ingredients is important, too. "Don't be heavy-handed with the seasoning, be gentle with the fish and soy sauces. You need a good balance, because you don't want to be able to pick that flavour, you just want to have it in the mix."
100ml olive oil, plus extra
75g celery, finely diced
75g carrot, finely diced
75g brown onion, finely diced
125g pancetta, diced
20g garlic (about 4 large cloves), sliced
3 rosemary sprigs
1kg veal mince
1kg pork mince
300g tomato paste
200ml white wine
1.5 litres chicken stock
50ml fish sauce
50ml soy sauce
100g (per serve) dried pappardelle, picci or spaghetti
1 knob of butter
grated parmesan, to serve
For the soffritto, add 100ml of oil and celery, carrot and onion to a heavy-based saucepan over very low heat. Cook for around 3 and a half hours, covered for the first 1 and a half hours, but don't caramelise. Tip out the soffritto and set aside.
Add the pancetta, garlic and a small splash of oil to the pan. Cook over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the garlic is translucent but not fried. Add the soffritto and rosemary. Once the soffritto has warmed through, add the meat, season with salt and cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomato paste and cook until the oil is stained. Pour over the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 1 and a half hours. Add the milk and cook for about 30 minutes until the meat is tender. Stir through the fish and soy sauces until seasoned to taste.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.
Add the butter to a large frying pan and spoon in about 80g of ragu per person. Warm through, add the hot pasta when ready and toss thoroughly. Serve with grated parmesan on the side.
Any leftover ragu will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, or can be frozen for later use.
This is an extract from The Broadsheet Sydney Cookbook, which includes 80 recipes from the city’s best restaurants, cafes and bars.