Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce)

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

Do you love Italian food? If so, you’re going to love this Tuscan ragù recipe. It’s a meat sauce that is popular in Tuscany, and it’s perfect for serving over pasta or polenta. This Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce is hearty, flavorful, and surprisingly easy to make.

One of the most surprising things about this hearty meat ragù is its depth of flavor. Here, red onion, rather than yellow or white, is included in the “soffritto” – the trio of aromatics that creates the flavor-packed foundation for this dish. Although this may seem like a subtle distinction, it is one worth noting.

Caramelizing this “Holy Trinity” of red onions, carrots, and celery adds a rich, sweet note to the hint of heat from the spicy sausage and the earthy goodness of the porcini mushrooms. The end result is a well-balanced symphony of flavors that does not rely on additional herbs and spices.

So get out your favorite bottle of red wine and let’s get cooking!

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.
SOFFRITTO

What is Soffritto?

Soffritto is a cooking term from the Italian language. It means “to fry slowly” and can be used to refer to many different kinds of sauces, but one of the most common types is an aromatic mixture composed of finely chopped or grated onions, celery, carrots or other vegetables sauteed in olive oil.

Since the vegetables contain a lot of liquid, they must be cooked slowly to let the moisture evaporate and everything get “stuck” at the bottom of the pot.

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

Why Soffritto?

Soffritto was traditionally used for flavoring broths, soups and sauces in Italian cuisine. Today this term also refers to many other flavorful pasta sauces which are prepared by browning vegetables in oil.

It is also the basis for many Italian meat dishes, especially those made with ground or chopped meats, because it brings out delicious flavor from even small amounts of meat. Soffritto can be cooked without “browning” if you want to achieve a more subtle taste.

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

How to Serve Tuscan Meat Ragu

  • Serve the Tuscan meat ragù on top of a bed of warm, creamy polenta.
  • Spoon on top of a grilled polenta wedges for a tasty appetizer.
  • Combine with spaghetti as Tuscan spaghetti sauce or Tuscan bolognese.
  • You will love Tuscan ragu over pappardelle!
This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

About the Ingredients for an Authentic Italian Ragù Recipe

Oil – Olive oil is the perfect oil to work with here, butter is a great alternative.

Soffritto – Soffritto is the Italian version of the French Mirepoix, or the Cajun “Holy trinity”. It is a mix of onion, celery, and carrots that are then sauteed.

Mushrooms – Porcini mushrooms have a deep earthy and nutty flavour that add rich flavour to sauces which is why they are a favourite in Italy. In North American, fresh Porcini mushrooms are hard to find and expensive. Instead we use dried porcini mushrooms and reconstitute them.

For even more flavor, reconstitute the dried porcini mushrooms in beef broth. Be sure to strain the liquid with a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any sediment before adding to the sauce.

Meat – We are using a combination of Italian sausages and ground beef. Alternatively you can replace the sausage with a combination of ground veal and ground pork. That said, using sausage adds loads of flavour.

Wine – Any dry white wine works here.

Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes are a good shortcut, for a more authentic flavour, use fresh roma tomatoes.

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

Looking for More Traditional Italian Recipes?

Check out more of my favourite recipes for Italian meals!

Enjoy a taste of Sicily with this Authentic Cod Caponata recipe. Caponata is a Sicilian dish featuring eggplant, olive oil, tomatos, celery, olives, and capers, it’s complex flavours add deph to simple proteins like Cod.

Lemon zest and peas are folded into a creamy risotto and topped off with roasted shrimp in this sumptuous Lemony Pea & Shrimp Risotto.

This Chicken with Pecorino Cream Sauce recipe is a creamy, delicious Italian inspired dinner idea perfect for any night of the week.

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

How to Make Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce)

Yields: 6-8 Servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 75 min–90 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted according to package directions and chopped
  • 1/3 lb. bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/3 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (80%)
  • ½ c. dry red wine
  • 1 14.5-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Liquid from reconstituting porcini mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and nicely caramelized, approximately 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms and sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink inside, stirring frequently while breaking the sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. When finished, carefully drain and discard any excess fat from the pot, if necessary.
  4. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon. Once the wine is reduced by half, add the tomatoes and the liquid from reconstituting the mushrooms. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  5. Reduce heat to just below medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 45-50 minutes. If sauce becomes too dry, add a little water while it cooks.
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce)
Yield: 8 Servings

Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted according to package directions and chopped
  • 1/3 lb. bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/3 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (80%)
  • ½ c. dry red wine
  • 1 14.5-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Liquid from reconstituting porcini mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and nicely caramelized, approximately 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms and sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink inside, stirring frequently while breaking the sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. When finished, carefully drain and discard any excess fat from the pot, if necessary.
  4. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon. Once the wine is reduced by half, add the tomatoes and the liquid from reconstituting the mushrooms. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  5. Reduce heat to just below medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 45-50 minutes. If sauce becomes too dry, add a little water while it cooks.
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 24g

This information is provided as a courtesy and for entertainment purposes only. This information comes from online calculators. Although rosemaryandmaple.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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This Tuscan Ragù (Tuscan-Style Meat Sauce) is an authentic Italian ragù recipe. Serve over pasta, gnocchi, or polenta for a hearty meal.

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