This is what my Sicilian friends have for Sunday lunch. Traditionally, there are larger chunks of meat in the ragù, along with sausage and sometimes slices of boiled egg. It’s normally followed by a crumbed meat or chicken cutlet and green salad. They say the lettuce is always there, one way or another. You’ll need a 6 cm (2½ inch) high, 30 x 22 cm (12 x 8½ inch) baking dish.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the onion until golden. Add the garlic and sauté until it smells good, then add the minced beef. Brown the beef over quite a high heat, stirring often to break up any lumps. Stir in the oregano, thyme and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Stir through the wine and when that has been absorbed, add the passata and water. Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring now and then. It must be a lovely loose ragù, so add a little water towards the end of cooking if necessary. Toss the peas in and remove from the heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the rigatoni to a couple of minutes short of the instructions on the packet. Drain.
Scoop a couple of ladlefuls of the ragù onto the bottom of the dish. Add half the pasta, pressing it along to level it. Ladle over half the remaining ragù and top with all the ham. Scatter half the mozzarella over, then follow with
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