Anna Maria and her goose ragù

Farmyards across central and northern Italy will always have a few geese. Here in Le Marche, they’re pretty hard to buy in the butcher’s or supermarkets – it’s considered a more ‘downmarket’ bird than duck – and instead you have to find a supplier or farmer. Anna’s goose comes from Lorenzo Olmetti’s farm and I’ll write more about him and geese in the next post.

Meanwhile, here is a simple ragù typical of the Cingoli area. In the olden days, goose offal was added to the mixture – heart, liver and stomach – which no longer chimes with modern tastes, so Anna adds minced beef or carne mista – a mixture of minced meats. The choice is up to you – and you could use a duck instead.

1 large onion, sliced
olive oil – about 2 tablespoons
2 sticks of celery
1 large carrot
150g minced beef
Half a goose, jointed
1 bottle of tomato passata
125ml/a glass of white wine
1 teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of black pepper
boiling water to cover the mixture by 1 inch/3 centimetres

To serve: grated Parmesan cheese

Soften the chopped onion in olive oil in a capacious saucepan. Roughly the carrot and celery and add this to the onion, followed by the meat. Fry the mince until coloured and then add the goose, followed by the wine, tomato passata, some salt and pepper and the boiling water. Give everything a good stir and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Cover the pot and leave it to goose to cook for 2 to 3 hours, checking the sauce at intervals and adding more water if necessary.

Remove the goose pieces and keep them warm. This is the main course. Fish out the vegetables and then skim off the fat (of which there’ll be a lot). Or you could leave it to cool, put it in the fridge overnight, and then scrape off the fat.

Boil your preferred fresh egg pasta – Anna likes ravioli – and then anoint the pasta with the sauce. Scatter lots of Parmesan cheese over the pasta and serve immediately