Remember to start preparing the ragu about six hours ahead of meal time.
2 tbsp olive oil 1kg beef short ribs (or another suitable braising cut) 1 brown onion, diced 1 stick celery, diced 1 carrot, diced 6 garlic cloves, sliced 1 bunch basil, leaves picked, stems finely chopped 2 tsp fennel seeds 3 bay leaves 2⁄3 cup of your favourite red wine 1L good quality chicken stock 700g jar tomato passata 500g packet pasta 50g grated pecorino (or parmesan), to serve
Preheat oven to 110C. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe heavy-based stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add beef short ribs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until softened.
Stir in the garlic, basil stems, fennel seeds and bay leaves. Deglaze with wine, stir in stock and passata and return beef to the pot. Transfer to the oven, uncovered, and cook for 4-5 hours or until beef is very tender.
Use tongs to remove beef from liquid. If the braising liquid is still thin, return to the stove and cook until thickened slightly. Use two forks to shred the beef, and return it to the sauce.
Cook pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente; drain. Add the beef ragu to the pasta and toss to combine.
Divide between bowls and top with pecorino and basil leaves to serve.
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