Dr. Jimbob's Home -> Coooking -> Ragu Recipe




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Ragu Recipe

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Ragu Toscana a la Jimbob

This is adapted from a recipe in Julia Della Croce's book Salse di Pomodoro. It's a satisfying, meaty sauce which goes well with thick tubular-shaped pasta like gemelli or penne.


  • 4 stalks celery (with flowers), diced into fairly small pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced into fairly small pieces
  • 2 mid-to-large sized yellow onions, chopped fine
  • 4 tblsp Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 tblsp sage, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 8-10 shiitake mushrooms, dried
  • 1 cup of dry Italian red wine
  • 6-7 lbs. of plum tomatoes (I used canned, peeled San Marzano variety), coarsely chopped


  1. The night before cooking, soak the dired mushrooms in cold water. On the day of cooking, fish out the mushrooms and strain the liquid of dirt to use in your sauce.
  2. Chop up your mirepoix (celery, carrots, onions) and simmer all of it in a Dutch oven at medium-low heat with some olive oil (I use extra virgin) and some butter (optional). Cook for about 10 or 12 minutes, or until the vegetables start to turn soft.
  3. Throw in the meat and mix it into the vegetables. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the meat is just browned on the outside and relatively pink inside. Take care not to overcook the meat.
  4. Chop the reconstituted mushrooms into large chunks. Add the soaking water, the mushrooms, and the wine to the mix. Cook for about 5 minutes, to let some (most?) of the alcohol boil off.
  5. Add the tomatoes and the juice from the can into the mix. Stir the mix occasionally, and allow to simmer at medium-low heat until it turns into a thick, rich-smelling sauce. For a big batch, this can take up to six hours to boil down completely, but it's worth the wait! Stir every 15-30 minutes.
  6. Serve hot over thick or cut pasta (seems to work well with farfalle, gemelli, or other thick pastas), no thinner than linguine, or with polenta or mixed into a plain risotto. Also works well with parmigiano cheese (preferably fresh-grated).
This makes about 6 quarts of sauce, in an 8 quart stockpot. However, it's addictive, and disappears quickly! Mangia bene!

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Dr. Jimbob's Home -> Coooking -> Ragu Recipe

Last updated: February 12, 2006 by James C.S. Liu

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