Classic Italian Ragu– A Family Meal

6 servings
55 min

Looking for a cozy meal the entire family will enjoy? This classic meat ragu is your new GO TO RECIPE. A certain magic happens as the beef and aromatic vegetables slowly cook down tomato sauce in this classic ragu recipe. I make a big batch and freeze it in portions and thaw for a busy night. It is also a Sunday family favorite as it warms the house with the most delicious smell. The simple ingredients make this dish filling and perfect for the cooler months. Add your favorite pasta and everyone will come running to the table. Don’t forget the freshly grated parmigiano to add the final cheesy touch!

Meat Variations– What is best?

Traditionally, we use beef or veal, or even a mix of both for classic Italian ragu. I’ve also used ground turkey or ground chicken to lighten it up and I find the taste a little less rich, but still delicious. In the summer months I use ground turkey and ground chicken more and in the cooler months I prefer the traditional beef or veal. You can’t go wrong with the meat you decide to use. Choose what your family loves and what will bring a happy gathering around your table.

Pasta Variations– What is best?

This ragu sauce goes well with any kind of pasta! I love tagliatelle as they add a rustic taste and look to the classic ragu sauce. Any short pasta like bow tie (farfalle) of rotini (fussili) will grasp the sauce well and add a fun element to the dish. Again, you can’t go wrong with any for this heartwarming meal, so pick your favorite.

Made with Amore, Elena

Classic Italian Ragu– A Family Meal
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped OR grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 6 oz. ground veal
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. tagliatelle OR fettuccine (any variety of pasta will do)
  • Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
  • 1 TBS parsley, finely chopped (for serving)

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, 8-10 minutes.
Add beef and veal- sauté, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes; boil 2 minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits.
Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Boil pasta according to directions. When pasta is done cooking place in a large serving dish and toss the ragu sauce until it coats the pasta completely.
Top with plenty of freshly grated parmigiano cheese and sprinkle with parsley
  • * Make up to 3 days in advance and reheat.
  • * Freezes for 2 months.
Elena  @mamamiammangia__
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  • Eliza Cross Eliza Cross on Dec 06, 2020

    I have been looking for an authentic ragu recipe. Thank you so much for sharing yours!

    • Elena  @mamamiammangia__ Elena @mamamiammangia__ on Dec 06, 2020

      Eliza, I hope you love it! If you like Italian food make sure to check out all my other recipes on my website.

      I share stories and recipes on Instagram as well! @mamamiamangia__

      grazie! Elena