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!
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.