If I had to choose my secret weapon, it would be this sausage ragù. It has so much flavor. Best part? It requires such few ingredients. As long as they are of great quality, it is really hard to fail at this dish.
In all seriousness, this is a seriously seductive ragù.
Origins of Sausage Ragù
Sausage ragù doesn’t necessarily belong to any Italian region in particular. Honestly, anywhere sausage is made, you’ll probably find a nonna making an excellent ragù with it!
In particular, there are some amazing sausage ragù recipes from the hills of Tuscany or Emilia Romagna, along with from Southern Italy. I’ve enjoyed delicious pici from Siena paired with a herbaceous local sausage ragù. Down in Napoli, I’ve had awesome maccheroni with a rich and generous sausage ragù. They both carried the essence of their area, making them remarkably difference.
But, they did have one thing in common: fresh, top quality, and local ingredients. This really makes all the difference.
Ingredients in Sausage Ragù
One seal of authenticity on any Italian dish is high quality ingredients. That is truly what makes any Italian dish stand out, whether it’s from Milano or Puglia.
With that being said – every ingredient matters in this dish. Knowing where and how to source them is the most important thing. Don’t worry – I took the stress off your shoulders by listing all the tips & tricks for scoring the best sausage ragù ingredients.
Now, let’s break down the delicious INGREDIENTS in sausage ragù!
- 2 Local fennel sausages (or spicy Italian sausage) – always make sure you source locally for your sausage. That means choosing something made from pigs who roam free and live healthy lives. I firmly believe this affects the flavor of your dish. Fennel sausage is always awesome, with the nutty floral character fennel brings. You can also opt for spicy Italian sausage, for a little kick! In this recipe, I used The Mayor Meats Fennel Garlic sausage.
- 1 can of tomatoes – High quality whole (or crushed) tomatoes are crucial. Please do not use pre-made sauce for this recipe, especially ones with lots of strange ingredients. You only need plain ole tomatoes. If you can score real San Marzano DOP tomatoes, go for it. If not, Muir Glen is a great American option. Maybe you already can your own tomatoes – then no need to explain anything to ya!
- Extra virgin olive oil – A top quality and affordable EVOO is essential in this recipe. You do not want a poor quality olive oil adding bitterness to your dish. I used Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as its a reliable cooking EVOO. Personally, I prefer single origin Italian oil, but my EVOO shipment is delayed…
- 2 cloves of Garlic – a little goes a long way in this recipe, especially if you use fennel garlic sausage. You simply need to slice the garlic, not heavily mince. In many Italian dishes, garlic gives essence to a dish, not the entire flavor. Plus, too much garlic can often lead to some major acid reflux…
- one half Red onion – mezzelune, or half moon, slices of red onion add a lovely sweetness to this dish.
- Parmigiano Reggiano (rind and grated cheese) – Parm is a very secret ingredient in here, well the rind that is. This simmers with the sauce, giving it saltiness and flavor. For garnishing, parmigiano at least 24 months old is best. PRO TIP: freeze your parm rinds so that you always have them on hand!
- 1/2 pound of slow-dried or fresh pasta – This sausage ragù is very adaptable, when it comes to pasta type and shape. It tastes fabulous with rigatoni or even tagliatelle. I would advise against super thin pasta, like vermicelli or pennette.
I hope this ingredient breakdown gives you a good idea of this dish. If you ever have any questions or comments, I always appreciate to hear them. Food tends to spark great conversations.
How to Make Sausage Ragù
Warm 3 tbsp of EVOO
Using a pan or small pot over medium heat
Add in 2 sliced garlic cloves & chopped half onion
while EVOO is heating up. Cook until onions have softened. A splash of white wine in the process doesn’t hurt. If everything is cooking to quickly, lower heat slightly.
Add in your sausage
Cook until most of the pink is gone. Do not brown the sausage.
Gently pour in your tomatoes
Mix everything together
Put in your parm rind
Make sure it is covered in sauce.
Bring sauce to a simmer
Allow your sauce to bubble for at least 30 minutes
Meanwhile, boil your pasta water
Make it as salty as the sea
Cook your pasta
If dried, you want it to be al dente!
Mix pasta directly into your sauce
There will be enough sauce where no pasta water is needed!
Plate pasta with an ample garnish of parmigiano reggiano
There is no limit to how much you want. I recommend grating more as you work through the bowl of pasta. The more parm the merrier!
This recipe is golden. I hope that you enjoyed the step by step guide and that it perhaps inspires you to make this killer sausage ragù. Don’t forget to thank me when it becomes your new secret weapon.