Seriously Good Ragù

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The  perfect pasta dinner

Two weeks ago, when Winter Storm Jonas wreaked snowy havoc on New York, Luke and I ventured into the frozen tundra. Trekking in our not so appropriate snow gear through the streets of Brooklyn, we worked up a serious appetite. Our chilled limbs craved a warm, comforting meal. Something that required simmering, included carbs, and plenty of cheese. Pasta was the obvious answer. But we wanted something special to mark this momentous weather occasion. This ragù, adapted from the always trustworthy NYT, perfectly fit our needs. It is the ultimate Saturday night let’s just chill inside and watch a movie meal. And though your plans may be low-key, prepare to be mind-blown by this ragù. That is not hyperbole!! It is ideal for dinner, lunch leftovers, or at around 3am, after you’ve had too much red wine and find yourself in a drunken, hungry stupor.


  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2-3 medium sized carrots, peeled and minced
  • 3 celery stalks, minced
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced + extra for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (San Marzano are best!) + juice
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 3 TBS tomato paste + 1 cup hot water
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb tubular pasta – rigatoni, penne, cavatappi, etc.
  • plenty of fresh grated parm!


  1. With the tip of your knife, slit open sausage casings. Crumble meat into a heavy pot or skillet (Dutch oven, cast iron pan both work very well) and set over medium-low heat. If the meat is not rendering enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan, add some olive oil. Saute, breaking up any large chunks, until the meat has turned opaque (not yet brown!).  Should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, parsley, and garlic and stir. Drizzle some more oil if the pan seems dry. Cook over very low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables have begun to caramelize in the fat and the meat is a nice deep brown. This could take up to 40 minutes! Just stir occasionally, make sure nothing is sticking to the pan, and let the flavors develop. You will taste the difference!
  3. Add tomatoes and their juices. Break up the tomatoes by squeezing them into the pan with your hands or crushing with a spoon. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, lower heat and add thyme and oregano. Simmer, uncovered, until thickened and pan is almost dry, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. About midway through this simmer, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta. Boil pasta until al dente.
  5. At the end of the simmering, mix tomato paste in 1 cup hot water. Add to pan and reduce heat to very low. Cook for about ten minutes more.
  6. Ideally, your pasta is finished right around the same time as your ragù! If sauce seems thick, you can add in a little pasta water. You can mix the hot pasta directly with the ragù or plate individually (we prefer the latter, allows everyone to decide on their pasta to ragù ratio). Serve with lots of freshly grated parm and some parsley!

Details: Serves about 4. You’re gonna want a big portion.

To print the recipe, click here: Sausage Ragù

One thought on “Seriously Good Ragù

  1. Pingback: Pasta alla Norma – Pig n' Pie

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