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"Pork or beef sausages, removed from their casings, make an ideal base for bolognese or ragu-style pasta sauces."
I've found that when I use just plain mince, there isn't much flavour in the dish, and a lot of water and/or oil always leaks out. So I prefer sausage meat as an alternative. There may be additives in the sausages, obviously, but for me, the flavour outweighs this - just try and get your snags from a trustworthy butcher or organic source.
This Italian Sausage Ragu is a rich and tasty accompaniment to pasta: the dash of rosemary and glug of red wine also helps!
Italian Sausage Ragu
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 Italian-style pork sausages (about 500g), casings removed
1 tblsp rosemary leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup (250ml) red wine
1 tblsp tomato paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g short pasta, such as fusilli or penne
Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until softened.
2. Add the sausage meat, rosemary and garlic, breaking up the sausage. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the meat is browned.
3. Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, until reduced slightly.
4. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, stir, then increase heat and bring to the boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the mixture is reduced.
6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.
7. Serve the ragu with the drained pasta, with parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from delicious (May 2010)
(anti-clockwise): Some of the ingredients; browning the sausage meat; reducing the sauce; served with parmesan and pasta
This saucy ragu has become a dinner favourite - it is also good when served with pearl (Israeli) couscous, as well as pasta.