Top Tips For Making The Very Best Beef Ragu
- Don’t rush the soffritto or you won’t get the real depth of flavour.
- Make sure to use 50/50 ground beef and pork.
- Use high-quality passata as cheaper brands can be very acidic.
- Use a red wine that’s good enough to drink and never use cooking wine.
- Try to use the highest quality beef stockor broth you can find if not homemade. This sauce is super simple so high-quality ingredients are important.
- If serving the traditional way with tagliatelle pasta then boil the pasta then add it straight into the ragu and toss to coat before serving.
How To Make Ragu Sauce
Spaghetti And Meat Sauce
Minutes Prep Time: 25
12 ounces dry spaghetti, uncooked
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound ground round beef
1 can Hunt’s® Traditional Pasta Sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion cook 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add beef cook 7 minutes or until beef is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Add pasta sauce to skillet stir together. Simmer covered over medium-low heat 10 minutes or until hot. Serve meat sauce with spaghetti. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.
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Takeaways For Our Homemade Sauce
If we want to win over folks who love that commercial style pasta sauce flavor, we need a homemade sauce with:
In general, making an appealing sauce for fans of store-bought Ragu is going to be less about oregano or specific spices, and more about duplicating the thickness and the round, mildly sweet flavor of a commercial sauce.
But, keeping in mind Matthews wifes preferences, I did keep this particular pasta sauce oregano-free and fairly low in basil. As with all canning recipes you can swap out dry herbs and spices to your hearts content, with absolutely no effect on safety.
Ragu Pasta Sauce Recipes: Easy Baked Spaghetti
Now that I have a family of my own, Ive always tried to cook dishes that feel like home. Fortunately, my daughter and husband love spaghetti just as much as I do. Ive never been able to replicate the taste of moms spaghetti sauce but I sure have come close a few times. When RAGU asked me to try out their NEW RAGU Homestyle Pasta Sauce, how could I refuse? They assured me that RAGU Homestyle is their boldest flavor yet because they peel, chop and simmer their ingredients just like my mom did. They also use a special blend of herbs to layer and build the flavor. Did they steal moms recipe? Ha! Just kidding. With no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no high fructose corn syrup, its like coming home from school again.
To try out the new RAGU Homestyle Pasta Sauce, I decided to make Baked Spaghetti instead of my usual spaghetti. If youve never made baked spaghetti before, youre in for a treat. Theres something about baking spaghetti in the oven that brings out all the delicious flavors. The best part? As long as you use thin spaghetti, theres no need to cook the noodles ahead of time. Thats right> You get to use uncooked noodles in this recipe! Lets get started.
- 1-2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 TBSP Italian seasoning spices
- 3/4 cup of water
- 2 jars of RAGU Homestyle Pasta Sauce
- 3/4 cup of shredded cheese
- 1 lb thin spaghetti
- Add both jars of RAGU Homestyle Pasta Sauce to the ground beef.
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How To Make Ragu According To Three Real Italian Nonnas
Long before ragù was a ubiquitous brand of spaghetti sauce in a jar, it was and is the basis for untold volumes of Italian goodness, from tagliatelle al ragù to lasagna to gnocchi to supplì, deep-fried rice balls stuffed with meat sauce whose mere existence is perhaps proof that a higher power actually exists.
In Italy, a good pasta with ragù is the go-to meal in home kitchens and trattorias. It is as essential as an asthmatics inhaler or a reformed smokers vape pen: there are always the makings for it close at hand, a pot of it already bubbling on the stove on Sunday morning, or a mason jar of it being pulled from the freezer.
It gets sent back to college with students going home after a long weekend, and it accompanies families in the bag of groceries toted on a beach vacation. No ragù? No party.
Even if youve long-ago abandoned the jars of store-bought sauce in favor of a DIY concoction, chances are your attempts at ragù are a pathetic stab in the heart of Italian tradition and an offense to the sensibilities of nonnas everywhere, who would find your pasta sauce at best insipid, at worst a cruel corruption of all that is pure and good about ragù.
Our health-conscious ways are mostly whats standing between us and a good ragù, but, as all Italian mothers and grandmothers know, a little fat and cholesterol never killed anyone. So we asked three nonnas, all of whom have been making ragù for decades, to show us how its done.
What Other Kind Of Meat Can You Add To Spaghetti Sauce
- Ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Italian sausage
Once your meat and veggies are seasoned and cooked, you can add the jar of your favorite sauce, tomato paste, the canned tomatoes and remaining seasonings. The sauce then gets simmered for 20 minutes and then you can toss in a handful of parmesan cheese for even more yumminess!
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Copycat Ragu Pasta Sauce
Adapted from The Fiery Redhead
To be honest with you, Ive been a lover of Ragu pasta sauce ever since the early days of the World Wide Web. I was tasked to create a web site for the organization I worked for and went to a conference to learn more and everyone at the conference was singing the praises of Ragu for their internet presence. They had the clever idea to snag the domain eat.com and I cant tell you how many times the name Ragu was said at that conference.
Well, its not like I had never heard of Ragu before that conference, but as an early internet web site developer, I was impressed with their ingenuity and strategy for building a meaningful connection to their audience. I started buying Ragu pasta sauce partly because I loved the taste, but partly because I just loved what they were doing as a pioneer on the web. My kids have grown up on their sauces and even though Ive now converted to a mostly homemade mindset, I had never entertained the idea of trying to replicate a Ragu sauce. Until this year.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
- 1/4 cup onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 29 oz. of tomato sauce
- 1 lb of fresh garden tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 bay leaf
Rag Aka Bolognese Sauce
A well-made ragù is probably my favourite thing to eat in the world. Unfortunately, in my opinion, its not something which is widely available outside the region of Emilia-Romagna. Luckily, its one of my specialities. Over the years, through learning from my aunt and nonna, asking people what their nonna did, reading, doing a lot of eating, and experimenting, Ive come up with a recipe and fool-proof technique that gives results just like those in Bologna.
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How To Serve It
Im not going to get all preachy with you and say that ragù should not be served with spaghetti, but in Italy it never is. Traditionally, its served with tagliatelle or baked into a lasagna, or even eaten with polenta. But never, I repeat never with spaghetti. However, it does work very well with other types of dried pasta such as conchiglie and rigatoni both of which have holes into which the ragù can enter. I serve mine with my own handmade tagliatelle which is the perfect marriage.
Tip: Does Your Family Like Their Sauce Spicy Add A Tsp Of Chili Flakes While The Sauce Is Simmering
So there you have itnow you will have sauce for a few meals. Making this on a weekend is the best idea because it takes a bit to make as you can see but once it is done you have sauce ready to go anytime for a quick weeknight meal. Thaw in the fridge the night before or warm up on law in a medium covered pot while the pasta is cooking!
Spaghetti With Easy Homemade Ragu Sauce
Weeknight pasta night just became even more delicious with this easy homemade ragu. The simple sauce comes together quickly and is layered with lots of flavor.
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano
- Saviola Imported Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P. Wedge for serving
Easy Homemade Ragu Sauce
My husband grew up on great sauce like his moms so when I came into the picture it was imperative that I learned how to make a good sauce. I learned this early on when we were dating and his mom went away for the weekend so I made him dinner and like a crazy person decided to make pasta.
I know why would an English chick try and make pasta for the son of a Sicilian mother? Must have hit my head!
Anyhoo I did and just as you might expect he ate it but was not shy to point out that if we were to get married he could not eat jarred sauce for eternity. Yes I used jarred sauce.. the horror! Now before everyone gets all mad and emotional about this we were dating for quite a while at this point. And yes he could make it himself. But he is more of a BBQ kind of guy and came from a traditional household so I understood.
That said, because of this dinner gone wrong episode, I learned to make awesome homemade Ragù from an awesome lady who is from Siciliy. The land of amazing Italian food.
So now that you have the story of how I learned to make this amazing sauce its time for me to share the process with you.
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How To Make Homestyle Spaghetti
Place large pot of salted water over high heat and heat until a rolling boil. Add your favorite spaghetti. Cook per package instructions or until al dente. Strain noodles and set aside. Add avocado oil to saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned, about 8 minutes. Add your favorite jar of marinara sauce. Saute until heated through.
The Difference Between Ragu And Bolognese
Ragu depending on where you are in the world is a meat-based sauce usually consisting of finely chopped vegetables, ground meat and cooked in a liquid such as wine, tomatoes or stock.
Bolognese on the other hand actually means something originating from Bologna, Emilia Romagna and their classic ragu alla bolognese has been a little lost in translation over the years.
It’s very similar to this one although is often made with white wine and sometimes milk which is thought to tenderise the meat.
It’s also traditionally served with tagliatelle pasta and never spaghetti which is why you’ll hear Italians say that Spaghetti Bolognese doesn’t exist.
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How To Store Leftover Beef Ragu
Like most stews or slow cooked sauces, they taste even better the next day because the flavours have had a long time to develop.
You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You may need to loosen it by adding a little water or stock when reheating and make sure it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.
You can also freeze this beef ragu, it freezes perfectly and it’s a great way for prepping ahead.
Just freeze in suitable containers then thaw completely before reheating.
Doctored Up Spaghetti Sauce
Doctored up Spaghetti Sauce is something that I make almost every single week! It starts with any ol jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce and turns it into a hearty meat sauce and can be used in so many different recipes.
Everyone can admit that a red sauce is always better after it sits for a couple days. Using a jar of sauce just gives the meat sauce that simmered-all-day taste.
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Printable Recipe: Homemade Pasta Sauce For People Who Like Ragu
How To Make Il Soffritto
Finely chop equal amounts of carrot, white onion and celery. To make Italian beef ragu, I use 1 carrot, 1 celery stick and 1 white onion.
Saute the chopped veggies in a large pan with a little olive oil. The key is to saute the veg slowly on a low/medium heat so they soften and release all the delicious flavours without browning or burning
Once the vegetables are soft add the ground beef and pork to the pan and brown then add the red wine and continue to cook until the wine has reduced by half.
Once the wine has reduced add the tomato passata/pureed tomatoes and half of the beef stock. Stir the sauce and let it simmer on a low heat for 2 and a half hours topping up the rest of the stock as it reduces.
Tip: Remeber to check on the ragu every now and then to stir it and add extra stock or water if needed.
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So Whats The Difference Between Ragu And Bolognese Sauce
I wondered this myself when trying to figure out what to call this recipe other than Sauce. In my house we just know what Sauce is because there is no other sauce we care about.
Both sauces are made with meat but the difference between the difference is really in the ratio of meat to tomatoes and sometimes the meat used itself. Ragu can also be made with more vegetables than what I have used in this recipe. Many people like to add finely chopped celery, carrots and or mushrooms. I do not. If you would like to do this cut back on the meat a tiny bit and sweat the added vegetables till soft along with the onions and garlic.
Bolognese sauce also typically does not use beef and pork but instead uses chicken, veal, lamb, rabbit or even goose. Oh my! Check out this article to find out more.
Real Talk: How Close Is This To Ragu
Despite hours of simmering, I wasnt able to fully duplicate that long-cooked, slightly metallic tomato paste flavor you get with Ragu. Doubling or even tripling the tomato paste would get the sauce closer, if thats important to you. But then at a certain point, you should just buy Ragu, know what I mean?
So, this is not a full-on copycat recipe. However, I did manage to create a thick, slightly sweet sauce with very little noticeable acidity that plays in the same category as a commercial pasta sauce. After fiddling and simmering and more fiddling and more simmering, I A/B tested the results of this sauce and the store bought Ragu.
To my palette, the homemade sauce is fresher, slightly less viscous , and has a bit more texture than Ragu. My kids, aged 13 and 6, both declared that they preferred the homemade sauce. They praised the texture as better than Ragu and liked the sweetness of the sauce.
I think that if you, your kids, or a family member prefer a mild, thick, store bought sauce, this is a great homemade alternative and possibly a way to start transitioning to more homemade options.
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