The best original Italian sauce you will ever taste

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Traditional Ragu Italian Sauce

In Italy just mention ‘ragù’, and the butcher knows the exact cuts of meat to give you. But anywhere else in the world, you may probably want to ask for ‘stew cuts’. Maybe even, a few pieces of oxtail for this best Italian sauce, to produce best end results.

Ragù, an Italian cuisine is a meat-based sauce which is most commonly served with pasta. In southern Italian regions, ragùs are often prepared from substantial quantities of large, whole cuts of meat. After a long braise (or simmer), the meats are then removed and may be served as a separate course without the pasta. As a result, best of all, you have a starter and a delicious fall-off-the-bone-meat second course all in one pot!

It’s a true crowd-pleasing dish — rich, hearty and more important, simple to make!


  • 1.5 LBS. / 600 gram each of veal, pork and lamb
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • ¼ cup of white/red wine (can use a splash of vinegar if you prefer)
  • 2 X 680ML (23OZ.) jars of pureed tomatoes
  • Half a jar of sun-dried tomato spread
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions for this best Italian sauce:

First, drizzle some Extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a pan. While the oil gets nice and hot, lightly salt and pepper the top of your meat. When the oil is hot add the meat seasoning side down. While the bottom cooks, season the other side of your meat in the pan. Brown the meat on both sides. You aren’t “sealing” in any flavors or juices, you are caramelizing the meat to add some nice flavor. Cook your meat in batches, taking it out when both sides are done. Add your onions to the pan. Let the onions cook until at least translucent if not a little longer. Add the wine or vinegar to deglaze your pan. Next add your tomato and sun-dried tomato spread. Let the sauce cook a bit, then taste. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more sauce or spread if you like. Place the meat in the slow cooker. You don’t have to use one. Alternatively you can cook this on the stove, just adding your meat back into the sauce, but you will need to check it religiously every 20-30 minutes and cook it very very slow for a good 3-4 hours.

The slow cooker just makes the process a little more fool-proof and easier. After adding your meat, pour the tomato sauce over the meat, and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Add in your fresh chopped basil at the end.

When you are ready to serve, spoon out your meat using a spider or slotted spoon. Reserve the meat on a plate and cover to keep warm. Add the remaining sauce to some al dente pasta, 200g per person, preferable penne or rigatoni, and toss. Serve with some grated cheese, and you are good to go. The meat is always served as a second course which is one of the best the things about this dish.

The best Italian sauce details:

This recipe is provided via mama Connie Capelli, of Villa Capelli. She used to sit at the stove for hours making this, but Villa Capelli since modernised it just a bit (shhhh don’t tell her!). And use a slow cooker so you can just set it and forget it.

To experience a Villa Capelli, true Italian cultural tour or cooking class visit here.

For other recipes from around the world visit here.

To find a global culinary tour at the Out There Global shop in partnership with Viator, a Tripadvisor company please visit here.


Villa Capelli currently has a 5 out of 5 star TripAdvisor Review Rating.

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