Easy Sausage / Roasted Vegetable Ragu
These simple ragus are quick to make and satisfyingly hearty. They are also really versatile – make a basic version for kids or a spiced up version for adults
Knife skills, Seasoning, Simmering, Reducing, Cooking a Meal
Sausage / Roasted Veg Ragu
By: Chloe Coker
These hearty and tasty ragus are an easy win for all the family. They are quick to make, they freeze well and the vegetable ragu is also a really good base for a tasty veggie lasagne.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE RAGU
*This is a really satisfying sauce – it uses storecupboard ingredients, is hearty and quicker to make than a bolognese. Keep it simple for kids with just onion, garlic, sausages, grated carrot and tomatoes and spice it up for grown ups with fennel, lemon zest and chilli
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced (leave out for fussy children)
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced (grate for fussy children)
optional: handful chopped mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp caster sugar or maple syrupoptional: pinch dried crushed chilli flakes
optional: ½ tsp fennel seeds
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes / passata
salt and pepper
Optional: 1 tbsp cream
To finish: handful of fresh basil leaves, torn and some grated parmesan
- Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Cut the sausages into 2cm lengths and add to the pan along with the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes until the sausages have browned and the onion has softened.
- Add the garlic, lemon zest, sugar/maple syrup (and fennel seeds and chilli if you are using) and tinned tomatoes, plus enough water to just cover the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper
- Simmer over a low heat for 45 mins – 1 hr or alternatively, cover with a lid and place in the oven @180 for 1 hr.
- If you like the sauce to be rich, stir through 1 tbsp cream before serving
- Stir through cooked pasta, top with some torn fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan.
ROASTED VEGETABLE RAGU
2 aubergines, diced
1 courgette, diced
2 peppers, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 stick celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar / maple syrup
Optional: 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
Optional: ½ tsp fennel seeds
Optional: zest of ½ a lemon
Around 600ml passata
Optional: handful fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 180*c. Chop the aubergine, courgette and peppers into small dice. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until soft.
- While the vegetables are roasting, place 1 tbsp oil in a pan with the diced onion, celery and carrot and cook over a low heat until soft (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic, sugar and dried herbs / fennel seeds / lemon if you are using them. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the passata and simmer over a gentle heat for 15 minutes. Once the vegetables are roasted, add them to the tomato sauce and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
- Optional: finish with torn basil and parmesan to serve
- *This ragu makes a really good vegetable lasagne. Take an oven dish and layer this sauce with fresh pasta, optional: a layer of ricotta, and cheese sauce – bake in the oven for 30 minutes until piping hot
Tips, Tricks and Teaching Info
Seasoning as all about balancing salt, sweet and acid flavours. If you are making a tomato based sauce, tomatoes are acidic so adding a small amount of sugar or maple syrup helps to balance the acidity. Salt brings out the flavour.
My kids can spot a vegetable a mile off. For fussy eaters, leave out the celery and grate the carrot so that it disappears into the sauce as it cooks