Sausage Ragu

Back with another great sausage recipe Francesca McKay shares her cosy ragu.

This is a simple yet impressive dish that is always on regular rotation in my house.  Warming, sumptuous and filling, it is an interesting  way to use up sausages and a quick way to have a hearty ragu on the table.  For added heat, use a finely chopped fresh red chilli or use dried chipotle flakes for a robust and smokier warmth.   

Ask any Italian and they will tell you each variety of pasta is the perfect bedfellow for a specific sauce.  My favourite pasta for this dish is rigatoni – the tubes capture the sauce perfectly, however, pappardelle or tagliatelle will also work.  By transferring the pasta directly from one pan to the other allows a little of the cooking water into the sauce which helps to bind it all together creating a silky texture and also helps to season the dish.  Just be mindful of the timings with the pasta so as not to overcook it and remember, in the words of Nigella, to always cook your pasta in water as salty as the sea.  

Sausage Ragu

Preparation time: 15 mins  

Cooking time: 30 mins 

Serves: 2 


  • 4 higher welfare sausages
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped or generous pinch chipotle chilli flakes 
  • 1x 400g can plum tomatoes
  • 150g Rummo rigatoni pasta
  • 75g mascarpone 
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt & pepper
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, torn 
  • Freshly grated parmesan 


  1. Using a sharp knife cut the sausage skins and remove the meat.  Discard the skins and break the meat up into chunks
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and brown the sausage meat then remove using a slotted spoon and rest to the side
  3. Add a drop of water (or red wine) to deglaze the pan, keeping the browned bits of sausage, the flavourful fat and the reduced liquid in the pan 
  4. Add a little more olive oil then cook the garlic and chilli on a low heat for a minute 
  5. Add the plum tomatoes to the pan, and stir, breaking up the tomatoes
  6. Bring to a simmer then cook for approx. 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. While the tomatoes are simmering, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions 
  8. Add the sausage meat back to the pan and stir then add the mascarpone and stir through
  9. Transfer the pasta from the water to the ragu, letting a little of the starchy water travel with it to help bind the sauce together
  10. Stir, taste and add salt and pepper as necessary
  11. Add the torn basil leaves and divide between pasta bowls
  12. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a nice bottle of red wine