Longcut Ragu

After some trial and error, I am ready to immortalize my basic pasta sauce recipe. I like my sauce to be relatively smooth, with just tomato chunks and meat for texture. I make a broth and an infused oil to extract the flavors from the vegetables and herbs, making a surprisingly flavorful sauce.

This is ideally made with home-canned tomatoes, but I use store bought cans in the recipe since I so rarely have a lot of home canned tomatoes on hand. I think one and a half pints of home-canned tomatoes would be roughly equivalent. If using store bought tomatoes, obviously higher end Roma or San Marzano varieties would be preferable.

Vegetable stock base

  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, broken into a few pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsely with stems
  • 1 bay leaf

Add 4 cups water to the vegetables in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for one hour. Strain the stock, then return to a boil and reduce to two cups



Once the vegetable stock is made, we can prepare the simple sauce

Sauce base

  • 1 pound ground beef, pork, or lamb
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cans whole or diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a skillet or saucepan. Season the meat with salt and pepper an add to the pot. Brown over medium high heat until just starting to crisp. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain all but about 2 tbsp.

Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes along with the vegetable stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer one hour. Using a potato masher, crush the tomatoes to your desired level of chunkiness.



While the sauce is simmering, we make the infused oil.

Infused oil

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • A large pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried

Combine all ingredients in a small skillet. Place over low heat. If the garlic begins to sizzle, remove from heat for a few seconds. After ten minutes over low heat, remove from the burner and allow to sit for 30 minutes or so. Strain the oil into a small bowl.

When the sauce is thickened and the oil is ready, stir the oil into the sauce just before serving, along with a handful of chopped Italian parsley.

One Response to “Longcut Ragu”

  1. Minnesota Oatmeal and Recipe Roundup « The Heavy Table – Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog Says:

    [...] potato and apple souffles, candy bars, Minnesota oatmeal, and longcut ragu. » Minnesota Oatmeal and Recipe Roundup Tags: candy bars, oatmeal, ragu, recipe roundup, [...]

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