Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Contaldo family meat ragù

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4-6
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
An authentic Italian tomato sauce for pasta is full of sweet pork, rich beef and spicy sausage. A real feast!


  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion, carrot, basil and bay leaves and fry gently over a medium heat until the onion has softened slightly.

  2. Add the beef, ribs and sausages and fry for a few minutes, turning, to brown well.

  3. Stir together the tomato puree and the red wine, then add to the saucepan and cook for a few minutes until the volume of the liquid has reduced slightly.

  4. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and parmesan and stir well.

  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally.

  6. Lift the meat out of the pot onto a serving plate and keep warm.

  7. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir together to coat all the pasta.

  8. For the salad, whisk together the olive oil and the lemon juice in a small bowl. Place the lettuce leaves into a serving bowl and toss the salad with the dressing.

  9. To serve, ladle the pasta into four serving bowls, top with the meat and serve the salad alongside.


  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500g/1lb 2oz beef topside, cut into medium chunks
  • 500g/1lb 2oz pork spare ribs
  • 200g/7oz Italian pork sausages
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml/3½fl oz red wine
  • 3 x 400g/14oz cans chopped plum tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g/1oz parmesan, grated
  • 400g/14oz large rigatoni pasta, cooked according to packet instructions

For the salad

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated
  • 1 handful frisée leaves, torn

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Contaldo family meat ragù

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