Tuscan Ragú

This hearty meat sauce gets a double dose of flavor from homemade vegetable stock and a "sofrito", vegetables sautéed and braised in the stock until they are golden. Use this to sauce tagliatelle, penne rigate or maccheroni.


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into crescents
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tomato, cored, seeded and chopped
  • Herbs to your taste, tied in a bouquet garni
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, strings removed and sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup Chianti wine
  • 28 oz can
  • 1 cup milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup Parmigano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Time: 3 hours
  • Make the stock by putting the vegetables in a saucepan with the water. Do not add salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven.
  • Add the vegetables for the sofrito. When the onions are translucent, add a large spoonful of the broth. Let it evaporate. Repeat from time to time until the vegetables are soft and golden.
  • Add the butter to the pan. Raise the heat to high.
  • Add the minced meat to the sofrito and brown it. Break up clumps with a wooden spoon. Let the meat stick to the bottom of the pan, then stir some more.
  • When the meat is a nice intense brown, add the red wine. Let it boil up. Stir to deglaze the pan. Cook down a minute.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, the milk, 1 cup of broth, the lemon zest, grated cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Lower the heat. Let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more broth as needed. Approximately 35 minutes.
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