Nonnas Kitchen Authentic Ragu

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I am reposting this from my back-up of my blog. I originally posted this on February 26th 2013 and I still think of my friend D every time I make it. Its probably one of my most visited posts in the 5 years since I started my blog and still people ask me for the link. So I had to repost it for all to see rather than hidden away!

This has been a hard post to write, I learned of this recipe during my last visit to my dear friend Diana who passed away a few weeks ago now and it’s taken me this long to post it due to finding time to get peace to write it but also I wanted to test it a few times to make sure I got it as good as it can be to pass onto you all.

Ragu MontageIngredients
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
1 onion
1 stick of celery
Fresh sage leaves
Fresh rosemary leaves
Fresh bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1 glass of white wine
Chicken stock
3 cans of tomatoes
3 tops of cloves
tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Olive oil


You have to do the meat separately for this dish then combine them at the end.

  1. Get yourself a large heavy based pot and put in a tablespoon of olive oil and add both the pork and the beef mince
  2. Once your mince is browned add in a fresh bay leaf and your glass of white wine and a crushed clove of garlic & finely chopped rosemary leaves and pop the lid on your saucepan and cook until the meat is soft and the wine has almost disappeared.
  3. This should be on a relatively low heat. You should use a wooden spoon and keep breaking down the mince so that the pieces are really small.
  4. Put in a dish and put to the side. In the same heavy based saucepan you need to add another tablespoon of olive oil and fry up the onions until softened.
  5. Add in 2 cloves of crushed garlic then add in your celery. The celery should be very finely chopped.
  6. Add in your chopped tomatoes, finely chopped sage and stir well. Add in two bay leaves, crushed tops of cloves (discard the stick just take the kind of seed off and crush between your thumb and fingers) and freshly ground nutmeg and leave this to simmer on a low heat
  7. Add in your chicken stock and stir well
  8. Keep simmering this until it has reduced slightly then add your meat back in and cook until the sauce has reduced further and season to your taste


I made this once on the hob and just let it simmer away stirring often for around 2 hours. What my friend’s dad, Nonno Guiseppe said is it’s not about time, it’s about feeling when it’s ready and this is right.

The other time I made this I decided to give it a go in the slow cooker, this was for two reasons, I wanted to see if I could make this then cook it whilst I was at work so that I didn’t have to stand over it. I’m sure any Italian reading this is tutting under their breath saying ‘O mio Dio’ but do you know what it really did work.

Both times we served with pasta and fresh parmesan.

I will be eternally grateful to Nonno Joe for passing on his family’s Ragu recipe to me and agreeing that I could blog it. This makes us 5 adult portions and 3 for Buddy. I have to say it’s a revelation that he loves this and eats it all, no complaints.

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