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Hearty Dinners/ Pasta/ Pork

Sausage Ragu with Pappardelle

November 8, 2019 (Last Updated: February 6, 2023) by Chris Collins

This Sausage Ragu is rich, juicy and bursting with flavour! Better still, it couldn’t be easier to make!

overhead shot of sausage ragu in skillet

Sausage Ragu

A ‘Ragu‘, in Italian cuisine,  just simply means a meat based sauce (often served with pasta.)

This is just like a regular beef ragu, but richer, softer and juicier! Think of it as a nice switch up from a spaghetti bolognese. Sausage and pasta is an underrated combo, and I’m here to put my two pence in as to exactly why it’s so awesome. Before we sink our teeth in, let’s quickly take a look at what you’ll need:

Sausage Ragu Ingredients

  • Sausage – Good quality ground sausage meat, or sausage meat squeezed from sausages.
  • Plum Tomatoes – Richer in flavour than chopped tomatoes.
  • Red Wine – Adds a gorgeous depth of flavour and pairs perfectly with the pork.
  • Tomato Puree – Tomato Paste in the US.
  • Onion, Garlic, Carrot, Celery – The base of all good ragus.
  • Rosemary & Basil – A fresh burst of flavour.
  • Parmesan – Stirred through right at the end.

Where can I find ground sausage?

You’ll find it in most supermarket/grocery stores near the sausages. If you can’t find it just use the meat from sausages. I recommend ‘neutral’ flavoured sausages (no fancy variety/added flavours needed) – Cumberland or Lincolnshire work great.

Can I sub ground pork?

Ground pork is far less flavoursome than sausage so I do not recommend subbing. Sausage is already pre seasoned and often a lot richer & fattier/softer.

pasta tongs twirling sausage ragu in pan

Making Sausage Ragu

Making a sausage ragu is very similar to making a bolognese. You can get away with spending a little less time simmering the sauce as the sausage is much softer than beef. In such case I usually simmer with the lid off for 45mins. You can however simmer longer with the lid on to marry the flavours further.

Red Wine

The red wine is one of the stars of the show in this recipe, so I highly recommend using it. Red wine deepens the flavour of sauces like this, and adds a gorgeous background flavour. Most, if not all of the alcohol will burn off, but if for whatever reason you don’t want to use it, just sub more water or chicken stock.

Top Tip – It’s important to fry the sausage meat until it’s thoroughly browned before pouring in the liquids.  A nice golden crust on the meat will enhance the flavour!

How to make Sausage Ragu (quick summary)

  1. Fry onion, carrot and celery until soft.
  2. Add garlic and fry further.
  3. Add sausage meat.
  4. Break up and fry until browned.
  5. Stir in tomato puree, then deglaze with red wine.
  6. Add tomatoes, basil, rosemary and seasoning, then simmer.

How to make sausage ragu - 6 step by step photos

Pappardelle Ragu

I love pappardelle with this recipe! Those long ribbons oozing in and out of the meat sauce is just too much to bare 🤤 If you can’t find pappardelle, then sub a similar pasta like fettuccine, linguine or tagliatelle.

In all instances, it’s really important to only cook the pasta until al dente. Because you’re going to be working the pasta through the sauce, it’ll actually carry on cooking slightly. Pappardelle, especially fresh, can be very brittle and if cooked to packet instruction, will probably end up breaking through the sauce.

Starchy Pasta Water

I always save a cup of starchy pasta water just before adding the pasta. This helps loosen up the sauce if it’s slightly over reduced. The starch molecules emulsify with the fats and help create a gorgeous sauce. Just a few splashes is all you’ll need.

Once the sauce has simmered and thickened, it’s just a case on stirring through some parmesan (yep, through the sauce – total game changer!) and adding in Pappardelle.

How to make sausage ragu with pappardelle - 3 step by step photos

Sausage Ragu FAQ

Can you make this ahead of time?

Absolutely! Just allow the ragu to cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed (2-3days, longer at your discretion). Reheat on the stove, thin out with a splash of water if needed.

Can you freeze sausage ragu?

Yep! Just allow the ragu to cool, then pop in an airtight container (or freezer bags) and pop in the freezer.

How to reheat frozen sausage ragu?

I usually thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat on the stove. Be prepared to add a splash of water to thin out if needed. Just make sure the sausage is piping hot.

What to serve with Sausage Ragu?

Pappardelle Ragu with Sausage in white bowl placed on chopping board

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

Sausage Pasta Recipes

Alright, let’s tuck into this sausage ragu recipe shall we?!

How to make Sausage Ragu (Full Recipe & Video)

pasta tongs twirling sausage ragu in pan

Sausage Ragu with Pappardelle

This Sausage Ragu is rich, juicy and bursting with flavour! Better still, it couldn't be easier to make!!
5 from 3 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 692kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50 / $2


  • Large Skillet or Pot
  • Large Pot (for pasta)
  • Pasta Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Fine Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):

  • 2lb / 1kg Ground Sausage (see notes)
  • 14oz / 400g Pappardelle (see notes)
  • 2x 14oz/400g can of Peeled Plum Tomatoes, chopped with a knife in the can
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Red Wine
  • 1/4 cup / 20g freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 2 stalks of Celery, finely diced
  • 2 medium Carrots, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 1 large sprig of Rosemary
  • 1 large sprig of Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar, or to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, as needed


  • Add a drizzle of oil to a large skillet over medium heat and add carrot, onion and celery. Fry until they begin to soften and brown, then add garlic. Continue to fry for 1-2 more mins, then add sausage.
  • Break it up with a wooden spoon and continue frying until it's thoroughly browned. You want it nice and caramelized to enhance the flavour.
  • Stir in 2 tbsp tomato puree, then deglaze with 1/2cup/125ml red wine. Allow to simmer and reduce for 5mins, then add 2 cans tomatoes (chopped). Add 1 large sprig of basil and rosemary, then season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Give it a good stir then simmer on low for around 45mins, or until nicely thickened.
  • Meanwhile, add 14oz/400g pappardelle to salted boiling water until al dente. Pappardelle should only take a couple of minutes if it's fresh, you want it still a little hard otherwise it'll break when you toss it through the sauce. I usually save a cup of starchy pasta water as well, just incase the ragu gets too thick.
  • Stir 1/4cup/20g parmesan in the ragu, then use your tongs to add in pasta. Thin out with pasta water if needed. Serve hot with extra parmesan is you desire!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Sausage - You'll find sausage meat in most supermarkets, but if you can't find it just use the meat from a neutral flavoured sausage. Don't use ground pork otherwise the ragu will lack in flavour.
b) Pasta - If you can't get hold of pappardelle, I recommend using a similar cut like tagliatelle, linguine or fettuccine. Failing that go for a pasta of choice, I just like the longer cut for this recipe!
c) Tomatoes - Plum tomatoes are slightly sweeter and richer and you'll find them almost anywhere. Just make sure you slice them up before you add them.
d) Red Wine - Highly recommend using this! It adds a gorgeous depth of flavour. The alcohol will mostly burn off, but if you don't have it or want to use it, just sub with water or even chicken stock.
e) Make ahead/Leftovers - Allow to cool and pop in an airtight container in the fridge (2-3days, longer at your discretions) or freezer (1month). Thaw overnight in fridge and reheat on stove until piping hot, using a splash of water to thin out if needed.
f) Calories - based on 1 tsp olive oil, no extra parmesan and shared between 6 people.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Sausage Ragu with Pappardelle
Amount Per Serving
Calories 692 Calories from Fat 457
% Daily Value*
Fat 50.8g78%
Saturated Fat 18.118g91%
Trans Fat 0.037g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.719g
Monounsaturated Fat 22.914g
Cholesterol 146mg49%
Sodium 1645mg69%
Potassium 809mg23%
Carbohydrates 27.18g9%
Fiber 3.8g15%
Sugar 5.48g6%
Protein 27.85g56%
Vitamin A 3916IU78%
Vitamin C 12.5mg15%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 3.71mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    November 8, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    My kids love spaghetti and I a always looking for different sauces. This sounds super delicious..can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 8, 2019 at 8:58 pm


  • Reply
    November 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    5 stars
    You’re right, for sure, sausage and pasta is an underrated delight! I love the pappardelle with this sausage ragu! It soaks up the sauce so much better! Thanks for this delicious recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 8, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      You’re very welcome, Beth! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! I love how easy and flavorful this is! I’m going to be craving it all season long!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 8, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      Thank Kim!

  • Reply
    Alisa Infanti
    November 8, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    5 stars
    I love paparadelle and this sauce with the red wine added such great flavour! My mother in law will now have a run for her money in the pasta department.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 8, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      Haha, the pressure!!