Ragù di Carne

A classic meat sauce from Modena.

A staple in our house. There is always at least 4 containers in the freezer at all times. Serve with tagliatelle or pappardelle. This recipe is from Scuola di Cucina Girasole in Modena. This is the best ragù di carne recipe I’ve tried. It is almost identical to my mother in law’s but between you and me, I like this one better. shhhh…


Serves 4


  • “3/4 pound mix of course ground beef and pork
  • 1.5 cups Pasatta pomodoro (simple tomato sauce) white sugar
  • 1/2 pound plain sweet sausage (NO FENNEL) or diced pancetta. OR BOTH!
  • 1/2 yellow onion, 1 large carrot, 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 glasses of red wine. (one for you and one for the pot)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth ( you can use bouillon or my fave “Better than bouillon”  in a pinch)
  • salt and pepper

1. Pulse onion, celery, and carrot in a food processor until  finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium high heat. Add ground meat and brown until meat sticks to the bottom but is not burned. (you want some of those brown bits on the bottom of the pan). remove meat from pan.

3. Add sausage or pancetta to pan and brown until fat is rendered then add the carrots celery and onions and sauté until they stick to the bottom of the pan. Add meat back in the pot. Deglaze with a cup of hearty red wine ( like a chianti) for about 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, tomato sauce, paste and broth. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Cook for 2 hours on low heat with lid slightly open until sauce is thickened. Let it rest for a few hours if possible. Can be made in advance or frozen.

5. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano!