This rich and hearty ragu sauce is total comfort food! Sausage and beef are simmered together with seasoning and beef broth then tossed with hot, cooked spaghetti for an upscale version of spaghetti and meat sauce!
When my husband and I first got married, we had a very limited rotation of weekly meal ideas.
I wasn’t quite the foodie then that I am now. I always loved to cook, I just wasn’t into a good rhythm of cooking yet.
Ragu pasta sauce was a staple in our household. I always bought that brand because that was what my husband liked. It was cheap, and easy and tasted good enough after a long busy day.
It took me a while to realize that making your own pasta sauce was almost as easy as opening a jar, and it was so much tastier!
This meat sauce is right up there when it comes to simplicity; this recipe is more about layering flavor.
What is Ragu Sauce?
Contrary to what the pasta sauce aisle tells you, Ragu is not a tomato sauce! Traditionally, Ragu sauce is a meat-based sauce made up of beef, lamb, pork, or chicken. It uses broth with a hint of tomatoes, a little red wine, and is often cooked with veggies like celery and carrots.
This may sound similar to bolognese. A bolognese sauce is a type of ragu that varies only slightly from ragu. Bolognese sauce is served with wider shaped pasta whereas ragu is served with spaghetti noodles.
How Do I Make Ragu Sauce?
STEP ONE – Place a deep skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil.
STEP TWO– Add vegetables to the hot oil, cook until veggies begin to soften; add garlic and cook an additional minute.
STEP THREE – Add ground beef and bulk Italian sausage to the same pan and cook until no longer pink, crumbling the meat mixture as it cooks.
STEP FOUR – Stir in tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Season mixture with seasoning and season with salt and pepper.
STEP FIVE – Pour beef broth over the mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook the ragu for about 30 minutes. Toss the ragu with al dente spaghetti.
Ragu Sauce Recipe Tips
I used a combination of Italian sausage and lean ground beef for this recipe. Feel free to substitute or stick with all ground beef; also try ground pork, veal, or turkey. I love the saltiness and spice that the Italian sausage lends the sauce.
I LOVE adding balsamic vinegar to my sauces. It is an easy way to deepen the flavor of any dish. You can add a little red wine instead. I rarely have a bottle of red open to use, but you can definitely use some if you do!
This sauce really needs about 30 minutes to come together. However, you can start this sauce early in the day and let it simmer on low. The longer it sits, the more the flavors come together.
Can You Freeze Ragu Sauce?
Yes! This sauce will freeze really well! Prepare the sauce recipe as directed (do not combine the sauce with the pasta). Allow the sauce to cool completely.
Pour the sauce into a gallon-sized ziptop bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Store the sauce in the freezer for up the three months.
What Can I Do With Leftover Sauce?
If you leftover sauce, or perhaps you want to make a double batch and repurpose the sauce, can easily use Ragu for:
- Lasagna – Use this sauce in place of the traditional tomato and meat-based sauce.
- Pizza – Use Ragu instead of pizza sauce and top with cheese and veggies as desired
- Soup- Add a little more broth (or water) and simmer the Ragu with rice or orzo.
- Sloppy Joe Filling – Cook the liquid down to create a thick sloppy joe filling.
This Ragu sauce is easy and versatile, it is the best kind of comfort cooking!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped frozen onions, peppers, celery mix
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 lb spaghetti
- Place a deep skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Add vegetables to the hot oil, cook until veggies begin to soften; add garlic, and cook an additional minute.
- Add ground beef and bulk Italian sausage to the same pan and cook until no longer pink, crumbling the meat mixture as it cooks.
- Stir in tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Season mixture with seasoning and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour beef broth over the mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook the ragu for about 30 minutes.
- Toss the ragu with al dente spaghetti.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 654Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 24gCholesterol 110mgSodium 1455mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 42g