My family ragù (Italian meat sauce)

My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes

My family ragù (Italian meat sauce)

Suitable for freezing
I always thought that the meat sauce is one of the cornerstones of Italian cooking and that it deserves a bit of presentation before we get to the point in terms of preparing it. So, here we go!
Italy is divided into 20 regions and almost each one has a very distinct cooking tradition. Hence, I am not surprised that these differences have influenced the way Italians prepare the meat sauce and this is why we have different varieties of it (sometimes the recipe can also vary from town to town within the same province!).Two of these varieties are the well known Bolognese meat sauce (ragù alla bolognese) and Neapolitan meat sauce (ragù alla napoletana) .
I really believe that simplicity is the key factor of successful cooking and here I am proposing a recipe for the ragù, which is personally the one I like best (it is Mamma’s ragù). This recipe is quite common in North Italy and I have simplified it to suit those whoe are attempting this recipe for the first time.
 Once you have tried this simple version, then you can master the technique and try something a bit more adventurous, like the ragù alla bolognese 1 and 2 recipes featured in the meat section of the website. 
The ingredients listed are for 500 g (1 pound 2 ounces ) minced beef. This quantity is enough for topping pasta and serving 4-5 persons.
Note: some people add a couple of bay leaves, others add sage leaves or a sprig of rosemary. These herbs have a strong flavour which covers the real taste of the meat, hence I definitely do not recommend them. For those brave enough I would suggest experimenting with the above mentioned herbs, do so after the meat sauce has simmered for 1 hour and transfer a small amount into a small saucepan and try adding the herbs to this. If you do not like the taste you still have a lovely pot of ragù.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 650 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) Minced beef
  • 90 ml (3 fl oz) Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 Carrot (very finely chopped)
  • 1 Celery stalk with some leaves (very finely chopped)
  • 1 Beef stock cube
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • A heaped tablespoon of tomato purèe
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) White wine
  • Salt for seasoning

Instructions

  • My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the finely chopped shallots and sweat over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until they are soft.
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Add the carrots and celery together and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Add the meat, stir with a wooden spoon and fork the meat down in order to break it up. Keep stirring untill the meat is browned.
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Add the stock cube and stir untill the stock cube has dissolved. The clove of garlic can also be added at this time. However, if you prefer a very light garlic flavour, add the garlic for the last hour of simmering.
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • When the stock cube is dissolved, add the tomato purèe (do not use sieved or tinned tomato in this recipe).
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Then add all the wine and stir gently until it has evaporated (it will take a couple of minutes).
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Finally, add enough boiled water to cover the sauce. For this recipe I used about 400 ml (1 3/4 cups).
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Now reduce the heat to the minimum, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • After 1 hour of simmering, remove the lid and continue simmering for another couple of hours, until the sauce is reduced to the right consistency (having completed the third hour, the sauce should have lost most of the water and should be ready to top the pasta).
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
  • Half an hour before the end, season with salt according to taste. I suggest to do the seasoning at this late stage when the sauce has lost most of the water.
    Remember, that you can also put part of the sauce in the freezer to use the first time you are in a rush!
    My family ragù (Italian meat sauce) | Meat Recipes
Enjoyed the recipe?Buy us a glass of wine!
Federico
Jeremy

Buon appetito! Thank you from Federico (recipe Maestro) and Jeremy (web Geek).

Nutrition

Calories: 650kcal
Keyword Meat
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Published
Categorised as Meat

By Federico

Federico Pezzaioli is an ex-badass Italian Paratrooper on a mission - to make creating delicious authentic Italian food really easy. He researches, writes and photographs each recipe with the same attention to detail he used to apply to packing his parachute.

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