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Ragu’ all’Abruzzese (Abruzzese-style Meat Sauce)

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Handmade pasta with a hearty ragu, typical of Abruzzo, Italy.

Handmade pasta with a hearty ragu, typical of Abruzzo, Italy.

A ragu with three flavorful cuts of meat and an abundance flavor.


Ragu’ all’Abruzzese (Abruzzese-style meat sauce)

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
6 ounces boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
6 ounces of boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
6 ounces boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds chopped canned tomatoes, with their juice (about 7  1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped — you can also add a few garlic cloves finely chopped

Warm the vegetable oil in a large dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, place over medium heat. Season the pieces of meat with a little salt and pepper and add them to the pot. Brown for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pieces to brown the other side, another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pieces to a deep plate or bowl.

Pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with disk with the smallest holes. Discard the solids. Set milled tomatoes aside. (In summer season, you can grate the fresh tomatoes with a box grater.)

Return the Dutch oven to medium heat and add the extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the onion, reduce the heat to medium-low, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is shiny and beginning to soften. Pour the tomatoes, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low or low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover partially and let the sauce cook, stirring it from time to time, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thickened. Add a splash or two of the water if the sauce thickens too much before the meat is done. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if you like.

Turn off the heat. Remove the meat from the pot before using the sauce. Serve the meat as a second course, or shred it and return it to the sauce.

Note: The ragu may be store in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Makes about 1  1/2 quarts

From “The Glorious Pasta of Italy” by Domenica Marchetti

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