Tuscan Ragu Recipe: A Taste of Italy in Your Kitchen
Indulge in the hearty and comforting flavors of Italy with this Tuscan Ragu recipe. Originating from the picturesque region of Tuscany, this slow-cooked meat sauce is a culinary masterpiece that will transport your taste buds to the Italian countryside.
The Charm of Tuscan Ragu
Tuscan Ragu is a traditional Italian sauce made from a delightful combination of ground meat, aromatic vegetables, and a rich tomato base. It’s the kind of dish that brings families together around the dining table, sharing stories and savoring every bite.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s gather all the essential ingredients for our Tuscan Ragu:
The Flavorful Base
- Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Onions: 1 large onion, finely chopped.
- Carrots: 2 carrots, diced.
- Celery: 2 celery stalks, diced.
- Garlic: 4 cloves of garlic, minced.
The Heart of the Sauce
- Ground Meat: 1 pound of a mixture of ground beef and pork for a flavorful blend.
- Tomato Paste: 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
- Crushed Tomatoes: 28 ounces of canned crushed tomatoes.
- Red Wine: 1/2 cup of red wine (optional).
- Beef Broth: 1 cup of beef broth.
- Fresh Herbs: A handful of fresh basil and parsley, chopped.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
Perfectly Cooked Pasta
- Pasta: 12 ounces of your favorite pasta (spaghetti or tagliatelle work well).
- Grated Parmesan: For garnish.
The Cooking Process
Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s start crafting our Tuscan Ragu:
Building the Flavorful Base
Step 1: Sauté the Aromatics
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, diced carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté them until they become soft and fragrant, usually around 5 minutes.
Creating the Heart of the Sauce
Step 2: Brown the Meat
Add the mixture of ground beef and pork to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon and cook until it’s browned and no longer pink.
Step 3: Add the Tomato Goodness
Stir in the tomato paste and canned crushed tomatoes. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Step 4: Wine and Broth Infusion
If you’re using red wine, pour it into the pot and stir well. Let it simmer for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol. Then, add the beef broth, fresh basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Perfectly Cooked Pasta
Step 5: Prepare the Pasta
While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Once the Tuscan Ragu is rich and thickened, serve it over the cooked pasta. Garnish with grated Parmesan and additional fresh herbs if desired.
There you have it – a taste of Italy in your own kitchen with this delectable Tuscan Ragu Recipe. The flavors of Tuscany come alive in this hearty, slow-cooked sauce that’s perfect for a cozy family dinner or special occasions. Buon appetito!
1. Can I use ground turkey instead of beef and pork?
- While traditionally made with beef and pork, you can certainly use ground turkey for a leaner option. Just be aware that the flavor profile may differ slightly.
2. Is the red wine necessary for this recipe?
- No, the red wine is optional. You can skip it if you prefer a non-alcoholic version of the sauce.
3. Can I make this Tuscan Ragu ahead of time?
- Absolutely! In fact, the flavors often deepen when the sauce is made in advance and reheated.
4. What type of pasta pairs best with Tuscan Ragu?
- Long, wide pasta shapes like spaghetti or tagliatelle are ideal for this sauce as they capture the rich flavors.
5. How can I store leftover Tuscan Ragu?
- Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze it for longer storage. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves only
- 2 lbs beef mince (ground beef)
- 1 lbs good quality pork sausage casing removed
- 250ml/1 cup dry red wine anything you like but not cooking wine
- 400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 500ml/17.5 oz tomato passata or crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
In a large and deep frying pan or a Dutch Oven heat 1 tbsp of olive oil, then add diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic and chopped rosemary leaves and cook on low heat for 10 minutes without colouring the vegetables. Then add ground beef, sausages, break up the beef and sausages with a spatula and brown it until the meat is no longer pink inside while stirring the whole time.
Pour in the red wine and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, then pour in both types of canned tomatoes and tomato paste with a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer, then lower the heat and cover with a lid, cook the ragu for 1.5 hours over low heat. Stir it once in a while, so it doesn't burn. If it gets a bit too thick, add a splash of water and continue cooking. At the end you should have a thick and very meaty sauce. Tastes it and add more salt if needed.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 10
Amount Per ServingCalories 4849Total Fat 311gSaturated Fat 104gTrans Fat 7gUnsaturated Fat 174gCholesterol 1197mgSodium 5534mgCarbohydrates 94gFiber 21gSugar 51gProtein 345g
The information contained herein is subject to change.