Gnocchi

Easy Sausage Ragu With Ricotta Gnocchi

A rich tomato sausage ragu tossed in light, pillowy homemade ricotta gnocchi. Chilly nights call for comfort and what better way to wrap up and get cosy than with a big bowl of Italian comfort food. This easy sausage ragu tastes like it’s been simmering all day but is made in just over an hour including the gnocchi!

Sausage ragu in a bowl with ricotta gnocchi and a glass of red wine in the background

Anyone else love this time of year wayyyy more than summer? I’ll take big bowls of cosy comfort food, chunky knit blankets and candles any day over ice pops and sunshine.

It’s funny after living in Italy for almost 4.5 years I got used to the beautiful weather and totally took it for granted. Little did I know I’d be back in Scotland where the golden rays are a precious sight.

But I’ve got to tell ya, I’m loving being back. Maybe it’s the time of year but I’m so ready to bring on all the soups, stews and hearty pasta dishes Autumn/Winter has to offer.

And this sausage ragu with ricotta gnocchi is the BEST place to start. First of all the gnocchi are super easy to make so don’t be put off by the thought of making gnocchi from scratch.

The sausage ragu, well it’s incredibly delicious and rich yet made with the simplest ingredients and simmered for only 1 hour. Now I some of you will be thinking whaaat, only 1 hour!? I ain’t got time for that, honey.

Well let me tell you, good food needs time, care, love and attention. The flavours need time to develop and any lover of true Italian food would not be impressed with a half-hearted, average ragu. Also, it’s time that’s key here…the effort is pretty minimal so as it simmers away you can get on with other things, win!

The Soffrito

A good ragu always starts with a soffrito, finely chopped carrot, celery and onion. I always use equal amounts of each and chop them as finely as possible.

This is a crucial part in making this sausage ragu and shouldn’t be skipped. The soffrito should be sauteed slowly for at least 10 minutes (usually 10-15 minutes). Notice how bright and vibrant the vegetables start off in the pan, after cooking they should be dull in colour and softened.

Always saute the soffrito on a low heat, stirring frequently assuring it doesn’t burn. This will add a huge depth of flavour to the ragu or any sauce or soup!

How To Make Sausage Ragu – Step By Step

Finely chop the carrot, celery and onion and add to a large pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Saute the vegetables slowly over a low heat for at least 10 minutes until softened (photos 1-2).

Once softened add the chopped garlic and saute until fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium and add the sausage meat, removed from their casings and brown in the pan. Use the side of a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat into smaller pieces as it browns (photo 3).

Step by step photos for making an Italian sausage ragu

Next, add the red wine and reduce by half. Add the pureed tomatoes (passata) along with a bay leaf, sprig of rosemary and a good pinch of salt and pepper (photo 4-6).

Use the water to rinse out the passata bottle and add that to the sauce. Simmer the sauce on low for 1 hour, stirring a few times to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan (photo 7).

When the sauce is almost ready (15 minutes before the end) make the gnocchi. Follow the instructions below then drop them into boiling salted water. When they float to the top they’re ready.

Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sausage ragu, toss to coat and serve (photos 8 & 9).

How To Make Ricotta Gnocchi

Ricotta gnocchi are a lot easier to get right than potato gnocchi plus they are really quick. All you need to do is mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl until there are no lumps.

Sift in the flour 1/4 at a time whilst mixing with a wooden spoon. Continue until you have a soft dough that you can form into a ball without being roo sticky or wet.

Cut the dough into quarters and roll out into log before cutting them into small gnocchi. For full step by step photos on how to make the ricotta gnocchi and what they should look like check out my post for Easy Ricotta Gnocchi with Broccoli Cream Sauce.

An overhead shot of sausage ragu tossed with ricotta gnocchi in a large white bowl

Extra Tips For Making This Sausage ragu;

  • Use the highest quality ingredients you can afford this is especially important when it comes to the sausages and tomato puree (passata).
  • Buy sausages that are 95%+ pork, good quality and coarsely ground. If you can find Italian ones that are flavoured with fennel and garlic then that’s even better.
  • If you do find Italian ones then you may not need to add extra salt to the sauce as they are usually pretty well seasoned. Try the sauce before adding more salt to be safe. You can always add it but can’t take it away.
  • Take extra care when making the soffritto!
  • For the best flavour I use Cirio classic passata or pureed tomatoes. The quality is really high and for the price, it’s so worth it. Cheap tomatoes will give your sauce a very acidic and sometimes metallic taste.
  • The gnocchi dough can be made in advance, wrapped in cling film and placed in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
  • If you make the ragu in advance, it will thicken as it cools. When you are ready to eat simply emulsify the sauce with a ladle or two of salted pasta/gnocchi water and stir to loosen. Heat on a medium/low heat.
  • The ragu can be stored in the fridge for around 2 days or frozen for months.

More Italian Ragu Recipes You Might Like;

If you’ve tried this Sausage Ragu with Ricotta Gnocchi or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

A square image of sausage ragu with ricotta gnocchi
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5 from 2 votes

Sausage Ragu with Ricotta Gnocchi

A rich tomato sausage ragu tossed in light, pillowy homemade ricotta gnocchi. Chilly nights call for comfort and what better way to wrap up and get cosy than with a big bowl of Italian comfort food. This easy sausage ragu tastes like it's been simmering all day but is made in only just over an hour including the gnocchi!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian Ragu, Quick Ragu, Sausage Ragu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 684kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

For The Sausage Ragu

  • 1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 6 sausages high quality coarsely ground and casings removed
  • 2.5 cups (550g) pureed tomatoes/passata
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

For The Ricotta Gnocchi

  • 14 oz (400g) ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 & 3/4 - 2 cup (250-300g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (20g) parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Finely chop the carrot, celery and onion and add to a large pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Saute the vegetables slowly over a low heat for at least 10 minutes until softened .*see notes on this step.
  • Once softened add the chopped garlic and saute until fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium and add the sausage meat, removed from their casing and brown. Use the side of a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat into smaller pieces as it browns.
  • Next, add the red wine and reduce by half. Add the pureed tomatoes (passata) along with a bay leaf, sprig of rosemary and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Rince the tomato can or bottle out with the water and add to the sauce.
  • Simmer the sauce on low for 1 hour, stirring a few times to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan.
  • When the sauce is almost ready (15 minutes before the end) make the gnocchi. Follow the instructions here then drop them into boiling salted water. When they float to the top they're ready.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sausage ragu, toss to coat and serve.

Notes

The Soffrito

A good ragu always starts with a soffrito, finely chopped carrot, celery and onion. I always use equal amounts of each and chop them as finely as possible.
This is a crucial part in making this sausage ragu and shouldn't be skipped. The soffrito should be sauteed slowly for at least 10 minutes (usually 10-15 minutes). Notice how bright and vibrant the vegetables start off in the pan, after cooking they should be dull in colour and softened.
Always saute the soffrito on a low heat, stirring frequently assuring it doesn't burn. This will add a huge depth of flavour to the ragu or any sauce or soup!

Extra Tips For Making This Sausage ragu;

  • Use the highest quality ingredients you can afford this is especially important when it comes to the sausages and tomato puree (passata).
  • Buy sausages that are 95%+ pork, good quality and coarsely ground. If you can find Italian ones that are flavoured with fennel and garlic then that's even better.
  • If you do find Italian ones then you may not need to add extra salt to the sauce as they are usually pretty well seasoned. Try the sauce before adding more salt to be safe. You can always add it but can't take it away.
  • Take extra care when making the soffritto! 
  • For the best flavour I use Cirio classic passata or pureed tomatoes. The quality is really high and for the price, it's so worth it. Cheap tomatoes will give your sauce a very acidic and sometimes metallic taste.
  • The gnocchi dough can be made in advance, wrapped in cling film and placed in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  • If you make the ragu in advance, it will thicken as it cools. When you are ready to eat simply emulsify the sauce with a ladle or two of salted pasta/gnocchi water and stir to loosen. Heat on a medium/low heat.
  • The ragu can be stored in the fridge for around 2 days or frozen for months.
 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Sausage Ragu with Ricotta Gnocchi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 684 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 60%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 190mg 63%
Sodium 991mg 41%
Potassium 885mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 36g 72%
Vitamin A 57.2%
Vitamin C 15.6%
Calcium 43.4%
Iron 31.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Helpful Info For All Recipes 
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!
Sausage Ragu with Ricotta Gnocchi. This simple Italian ragu is made with just a few simple ingredients and tastes incredible. Toss it with soft, light ricotta gnocchi and you have the perfect lazy weekend meal. | Authentic Italian Recipes | Traditional Italian Recipes | Easy Ragu | Sausage Pasta Sauce | #Insidetherustickitchen #ragu #sausage #Italian #Italianrecipes

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy Williams
    October 10, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Gnocchi is one of my favorites and yours looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Angela
    October 8, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Oh yum! I could do with tucking into this right now! Proper comfort food for a wintery evening! Thank you! Definitely making this!

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