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Daddy’s Sausage Ragu

Yields1 ServingPrep Time20 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time1 hr

We created this dish after arriving in Rome at the start of our family Italian adventure in 2016. We were all tired after a very early flight out of Ireland and we were hungry.

A quick visit to the nearest local shop where we purchased some incredible Italian sausages, local tomatoes and red wine and Daddy's Homemade Sausage Ragu was born. We all loved it so much, it's became a staple dish that we've cooked in every country we've visited since that trip, varying the ingredients to what we could find locally.

Homemade Sausage Ragu - Saucepan Kids Easy Italian Pasta Family-Friendly dinner

 6 high-welfare, good quality pork sausages (we use Cumberland as they are nicely spiced)
 500g pasta (tortiglioni is our favourite as the sauce hides in the tubes but use your favourite)
 400g tin of good quality whole plum tomatoes (these make a much nicer sauce than chopped)
 1 red onion, finely chopped
 A sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
 2 tsps fennel seeds smashed in a pestle and mortar
 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
 1 small glass of red wine (make it good as you may want to drink the rest!)
 Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
 Fresh basil leaves
 Olive oil
 Salt and pepper

Heat a pan on a medium/high ring and add a tablespoon of olive oil


Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into the pan


Break up the sausages into small pieces as they cook - top tip: a whisk is great for this


Add the rosemary, fennel seeds, some salt and pepper and continue frying all together until the sausages are well broken up and browning


Add the red onion and fry for about 5 minutes


Add the garlic, cook for a few more minutes and then pour in the wine


Let the wine bubble away, using it to scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the pan until it has all evaporated


Add the tomatoes along with about half a tin of cold water - this also gets all of the tomato from the tin


Bring back up to the boil, turn the heat down and leave to simmer. At this stage, deepening on how quickly the sauce thickens, you can cook it anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours. If you leave it longer, then you can cover and add more water as necessary


Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a generous amount of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions, less about a minute or so as you want to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.


Once the pasta is nearly cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking water


The sauce should have thickened nicely so test the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste


Add the pasta to the sauce (or vice versa depending on the relative size of your pans) and mix together, adding some of the reserved pasta water to create a lovelocks consistency.


Add a generous sprinkling of the cheese, mix in with more pasta water if necessary


Serve up with some basil and a final sprinkle of cheese

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size Feeds 5 (inc. 3 constantly hungry teens)