Sausage Ragu

Feed the family this comforting, budget-friendly sausage ragu with pasta. You can freeze the leftovers for another time and it tastes just as good.

Meat sauce is one of the recipes many American home cooks start with. It seems so easy; brown some hamburger, pour in a jar of marinara, and presto! Meat sauce.

Caramelization is involved; dried pasta and canned tomatoes are best practice; and pork, not beef, is the meat of choice.  If your sausage meat seems timidly flavored, feel free to add chopped garlic, chile flakes, fennel seed and/or dried herbs like oregano and sage to the meat as it browns.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 pork sausages
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 350g rigatoni pasta
  • grated parmesan and ½ small bunch parsley, leaves roughly chopped, to serve

Preparation:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onion with a pinch of salt for 7 mins. Add the garlic, chilli and rosemary, and cook for 1 min more. Tip in the tomatoes and sugar, and simmer for 20 mins.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Squeeze the sausagemeat from the skins and fry, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 mins until golden. Add to the sauce with the milk and lemon zest, then simmer for a further 5 mins. To freeze, leave to cool completely and transfer to large freezerproof bags.
  3. Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Scatter over the parmesan and parsley leaves to serve.

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