Sausage ragù is a traditional recipe of Bologna.
Preparation begins with the soffritto, which in this recipe involves only onion, is slightly red even if there is no tomato passata, and has a relatively long cooking time.
It is a rustic ragù but not as flavorful as we might expect. During cooking, the milk sweetens the flavor of the fresh sausage, which in Bologna, best to point out, has no added flavors or spices. Also, sausage must be crumbled very finely, first with your hands and then, when cooking, with the help of a spoon.
The secret, so that it remains soft and creamy, is to keep a small pot of broth on hand and add a spoon, little by little, without exceeding.
In Bolognese cuisine, gramigna (yellow only or yellow and green) and sausage ragù are the perfect combo.
It is usually a ragù that embraces fresh egg pasta but also goes well with dry pasta.
Sometimes, sausage ragout is enriched with some vegetables, and out of all of them, my favorite versions are with yellow peppers or peas.
However, if you have never made sausage ragù, I recommend starting with the basic recipe. The Bolognese version differs from any other sausage-based sauce because of the long cooking time and the presence of wine and milk. Before changing, it is best to taste the original recipe, especially if we have never made it before.
Cooking at home is not an Olympic sport
Over the last few years, home cooking has changed.
TV shows and chef’s restaurant programs press the home cook towards a professional dimension. We have learned the chef’s terms and techniques and the importance of dish presentation.
We cook as if we were at a TV pressure test, looking for recipes with television timing.
Have you seen how many ‘quick’ dishes are on the web?
And while a few quick and easy recipes are an essential part of a home repertoire, where are the recipes that need long cooking times? Suffering the consequences are recipes such as ragu, a mainstay of Italian and Bolognese cuisine.
Home cooking is different from that of restaurants and TV shows.
And in the differences, I find reasons to re-embrace home cooking: tasty and made of familiar gestures and memories.
Star chef knowledge, blood and tears, hard work, and competitive spirit seem to be required of the home cook today. Not to mention the kitchen equipment like pots and tools: everything has to be professional, possibly super cool. Tying the apron in the right way is also crucial in order not to be recognized as a simple home cook.
About home cooking, a food writer I love writes is an everyday ordinary miracle. Its uniqueness consists in being an action we repeat to nourish ourselves and, if there is one, the family.
That is the cuisine I know and enjoy.
In our kitchen, we always win, even if the dish isn’t perfect.
And above all, we are not professional chefs. I won’t even go so far as to say starred chefs are a world apart within the restaurant galaxy.
We didn’t study or even work our way up to become chefs.
Cooking in a restaurant is hard work and deserves respect.
The home kitchen responds to different rules.
Home cooking offers simple flavors capable of acting on several levels: sensory (eyes, nose, mouth) and emotional (memories). Homemade dishes are a map of easily recognizable tastes, such as local ingredients, but also feelings and family moments that those in restaurants cannot have (except for the few places where we may have created some personal memories).
The home kitchen admits mistakes and knows no timetable; it lives every time a family member turns on a stove or opens the refrigerator. It has a warmth that no restaurant kitchen can ever have.
Remember that home cooks nourish, and restaurant chefs offer an experience.
The memory passed down through home recipes
Home cooking is also a way of preserving knowledge, memories, and tastes. Losing that memory is wrong, forgetting a mistake.
In this way, we give up a significant part of our personal and community heritage. We haven’t to eat just traditional recipes or childhood dishes. It is ok to welcome new ingredients and recipes without forgetting.
Television competitions and the desire for the perfect photo have caused a flattening of the flavors, which we see in the same out-the-season dishes on social media feeds.
It is not an invitation to turn off the TV or stop watching social media.
Home cooks should be proud of presenting original flavors and recovering home recipes without fear of being a voice out of the chorus.
Simple, recognizable tastes, I can’t think of anything tastier or more welcoming.
The simple goodness of a dish of tagliatelle al limone says better than many words how delicious are recipes that require 2-3 ingredients and a handful of minutes. Don’t forget the dishes whose preparation takes longer than an episode of Master Chef.
The poetry of a ragù cooking gently on the heat can lighten and mitigate the rigors of the coldest day.
Buona cucina, Monica
Bolognese meat ragù recipes
Keep in Touch
Sausage ragù of Bologna
- 500 g of Italian fresh sausage without herbs or spices
- 100 g of onion, yellow or white
- 30 g of butter
- 30 g of olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 70 g of red wine
- 120 g of milk
- 20 g of tomato paste
- 300 ml of stock, meat or vegetable
- Remove the skin, finely crumble the sausage with your hands, and set aside.
- Remove the skin, finely chop the onion, and set aside.
- In a pot, gently melt the butter in the olive oil, add the onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté on a medium stove and low flame for 8 minutes.
- Add the sausage and sauté on low flame for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use the wooden spoon to make the sausage pieces even smaller; its grain should be fine.
- Turn up the stove flame, add the wine, and let it evaporate for a few minutes while stirring.
- Then turn the heat down, add milk, tomato paste, and stir.
- Cover the pan with a lid, not completely, and cook slowly and long, about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally and adding broth during cooking. The sauce has to be reduced but not dry.
- Taste, adjusting the salt if needed.
- If the sausage still seems too coarse, at the end of the cooking, use the immersion blender to pulse here and there for a moment and stop.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
Bolognese Sausage Ragù
List of the Ingredients
Remove the skin from the sausage, cut it into small pieces with your hands, and set aside.
Clean and finely chop the onion.
In a pot, gently cook the onion in butter and oil.
Then add the sausage and cook slowly, about 10 minutes, stirring to mince the meat.
Turn up the heat, add the wine, and let it evaporate.
Then add the milk, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt, then lower the heat and stir.
Cover the pan with a lid, not completely, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally.
When necessary, add a little broth while cooking.
Bolognese sausage ragù cooks for about an hour and a half. After this time, the sauce has reduced but not dried, taste, add salt, and turn off the heat.
At the end of cooking, if the sausage is still a little coarse, use the immersion blender for a minute. It becomes finer.
After cooking the pasta al dente in boiling water, season with plenty of sausage sauce.
Store in the fridge for about a week or freeze.