Sausage Ragù is a tomato-based meat sauce made with Italian sausage. It’s amazing on pasta, as a base for lasagna and as leftovers. Sausage Ragù also freezes beautifully for an anytime meal straight from your freezer. If you really want to be creative, use it to make Italian Nachos!
What is a Ragù
Ragù, pronounced “ra’gu” is an Italian dish made with meat such as beef or pork and cooked with vegetables in a sauce. Generally, ragù is served with pasta. Alberto Alvisi created rage in the 18th century. Since then, several regional varieties have been developed.
While pronounced the same way, ragù and ragout are not the same. Ragout is French-style meat and vegetable stew that is slow-cooked.
Ingredients for Sausage Ragù
I used the following ingredients for this amazing sauce: Mild Italian sausage, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, whole canned tomatoes, tomato paste, dried thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cooking the Meat and Vegetables
I started by browning the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. As the sausage was browning, I broke it up into small pieces.
When most of the pink was gone from the sausage, I added the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and chopped parsley. After stirring to combine everything, I let the sausage/vegetable mixture cook over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes. Generally, I drain the fat from the sausage before adding anything else. This time, I didn’t drain the sausage so that the grease would enhance the sautéing of the vegetables. After 45 minutes, the sausage was fully cooked and the vegetables were tender and had begun to caramelize.
Finishing the Sausage Ragù
While the sausage and vegetables were cooking, I poured the whole tomatoes into a bowl and squished them with my hands.
Once the sausage and vegetables were nicely cooked, I added the squished tomatoes, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Then, I stirred to combine everything. I continued cooking the mixture over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, a lot of the excess liquid had evaporated and the sauce was thickened.
Next, I added a can of tomato paste that I had whisked together with a cup of water.
I let the ragù cook for another 15 minutes or so until it was nice and thick. Before serving the ragù I tasted it to see if I needed to add any additional seasonings. It was perfect for my taste!
I served the ragù over Rotini pasta, topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced parsley. I added a freshly made loaf of crusty French bread and a nice Merlot for an awesome meal. Yum!
- 1 pound mild or sweet Italian sausage (See Tip 1)
- 2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots (1 large)
- 1/2 cup chopped celery (1 to 2 stalks)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Minced parsley for garnish (optional)
- 16 ounces Rotini, prepared according to package directions (See Tip 2)
- Crumble the sausage in a large skillet or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Cook, breaking up any large pieces, until most of the pink is gone, about 5 minutes.
- Add onions, carrots, celery, parsley and garlic; stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and are beginning to caramelize, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Pour tomatoes into a bowl; break up with hands or a spoon. Add tomatoes and their juice, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Whisk tomato paste with 1 cup of water. Add to ragù; stir to combine. Continue cooking uncovered over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Correct seasonings.
- Serve over pasta; top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced parsley. Yield: 6 servings. (See Tip 3)
Chula's Expert Tips
- If your Italian sausage is in casings, use the tip of a small knife to slit open the casings. Remove the sausage from the casings and proceed as above.
- You can use whatever pasta you desire.
- Leftovers, if any can be refrigerated and reheated, or frozen for later use.