While not one of Italy's most ancient pasta sauce recipes, it is one of the most versatile and widely-made sauces in the Italian culinary repertoire. Providing as the base for many a Sunday family lunch dish, it's a must-know if you're looking to expand your knowledge of regional Italian cooking.
Every Italian region and every Italian city has their own, unique touches - some authentic Italian household dishes even include larger cuts of meat which are removed post-cooking and served as a second dish. We're going to give you the traditional Tuscan version here - a delightfully rich meat-based Ragù sauce recipe that will knock the socks off your friends and family. Once you've mastered this delicious fresh pasta sauce recipe, you should certainly branch out and see how the rest of the country loves their Ragù!
Prepare and cook the soffritto
Peel and cut onion into large coarse pieces. Do the same with your carrot and celery (no need to peel this), cutting vegetables into coarse, large pieces. Using an electric chopper, create fine mince, being careful not to overly chop and create vegetable mush - pieces should remain distinct but fine.
Add 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil to large sauce pot, and heat over medium flame. If you have a terracotta cooking pot, this is even better. Add diced vegetables to heated oil, and cook over medium-high, being careful not to burn the vegetables. They should begin to soften at around 3-5 minutes cooking time.
Prepare the sauce for long simmer
While vegetables are cooking, remove skins from two sausages, set aside. We recommend using good-quality pork-based sausages, ideally Tuscan-style (not sweet).
When vegetables begin to change color and are moderately softened, add the two sausages, and press down with a fork to break up sausages into smaller pieces. Continue pressing down and splitting sausages until they begin to change color. Add both the minced beef and minced pork, and cover the pot with a lid.
Continue to cook over a high flame, stirring from time to time until all the meat changes color (from pink to light brown). At this point, add tinned tomatoes, mix well and begin adding the concentrated tomato until the ragù becomes a rich brown-red color.
Simmer the sauce and complete sauce
Add 1/2 glass of water to the sauce, and lower heat to very low. Begin timing for 3 hours of simmering at this stage, checking on the sauce from time to time to be sure it's not sticking to the bottom of your pot. If sauce appears too dry or is sticking to the bottom, add a small amount of room temperature water and stir to loosen from bottom.
When sauce is cooked through and thickened, adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and use with whatever dish you'll be preparing.
75 minutes 13 ingredients 355 kCal
60 minutes 11 ingredients 360 kCal