Slow-cooked Italian Ragu
Today, Melbourne lays claim to the (unsought-for) title of the World’s most locked-down city of the pandemic. Topping Buenos Aires 245 total days of stay-at-home orders since the pandemic began.
Wherever you are in the world, I really do hope you are holding up okay. It’s been a bumpy ride, to say the least. I’d like to think this recipe for slow-cooked Italian ragu will put a huge smile on your face and bring you comfort.
I don’t make promises lightly but I can promise you that this slow-cooked Italian ragu will be one of the best pasta sauces you will ever enjoy. It is glorious and unforgettable.
I have been reminiscing about wonderful travel adventures a lot lately. I imagine you are also.
I first cooked this ragu in a rustic farmhouse in Northern Italy on the Relish Mama food and wine tour back in 2016. We enjoyed this ragu with silky fresh pasta sheets that we then made into ravioli. If you have my second cookbook Relish Mama ‘Family’ you may have already cooked and enjoyed this recipe. I would love to hear from you if you have.
So why is it ragu? You might ask? Well, you see, Bolognese and Ragu differ. Bolognese is said to originate from Bologna. Bolognese includes white wine rather than red and often contains fewer tomatoes than slow-cooked ragu.
It is important to buy good quality meat for this recipe. Preferably from your butcher rather than a major supermarket if you can.
With simple but good quality ingredients as well as patience as it cooks slowly, you will be rewarded with a ragu so rich in flavour and a sauce that melts in your mouth.
Cook this on a weekend and enjoy with fresh pasta or polenta (see photo a little lower). Any leftovers freeze super well and you will love yourself for stashing away something so delicious to enjoy and help you during the busy weeks.
I hope you really enjoy this recipe as much as we do.
If you would like to come and cook some wonderful Italian dishes with me, I have just added a new online course called Rustic Italian dishes. It is a live cooking class on October 31st via Zoom. You will have one glorious Italian feast to enjoy in your own home afterwards. Click here to learn more.
For more great recipes, the Relish Mama cookbooks can be posted directly to you. Head here to explore or shop the Relish Mama cookbooks today.
Slow-cooked Italian Ragu
- Large saucepan (preferably cast iron)
- 60 ml good quality olive oil
- 100 g pancetta diced
- 1 large carrot very finely diced
- 2 celery stalks very finely diced
- 1 large onion very finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves very finely chopped
- 1 handful parsley finely chopped
- 1 pork rib
- 250 g minced beef
- 250 g minced pork or veal
- 250 ml dry red wine
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1400 ml passata or sugo
- Sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the pancetta, carrot, celery and onion and fry gently for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and parsley and fry for a further 1 minute to infuse the flavours
- Add the pork rib, and minced meats and cook for about 5 mins to brown.
- Add the wine and simmer gently to allow the alcohol to evaporate a little. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a further minute.
- Add the passata or sugo and simmer gently for at least 2 hours. Remove the pork rib before serving or freezing in batches.