This Sausage Ragu is rich, juicy and bursting with flavour! Better still, it couldn’t be easier to make!
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.
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.
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.
How to make Sausage Ragu (quick summary)
- Fry onion, carrot and celery until soft.
- Add garlic and fry further.
- Add sausage meat.
- Break up and fry until browned.
- Stir in tomato puree, then deglaze with red wine.
- Add tomatoes, basil, rosemary and seasoning, then simmer.
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.
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?
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?
Sausage Pasta Recipes
- Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage
- Sausage Pasta in a Sun Dried Tomato Mascarpone Sauce
- Crispy Gnocchi with Sausage Meatballs
- Sausage and Fennel Lasagne
- All Pasta Recipes
Alright, let’s tuck into this sausage ragu recipe shall we?!
How to make Sausage Ragu (Full Recipe & Video)
Sausage Ragu with Pappardelle
- 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!
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