Napoli sausage ragu recipe


A comforting, nourishing dish perfect for chilly evenings. Don’t be put off by the long cooking time – you can let the ragù simmer away to thicken and become rich. This would be perfect served with wet polenta.


  Metric  Cups  Imperial 

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus a nice glug for serving
  • 6 brown or red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 10 napoli sausages or any other coarse pork and fennel sausages
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g/14oz tinned whole plum tomatoes, blitzed or mashed
  • 100 g Parmesan, grated
  • 1 pinch each of salt and pepper


  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Recipe Type: Sausage
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 205 mins
  • Serves: 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/325°F/gas mark 3.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a saucepan over a medium heat. Warm and then add the onions, garlic, bay, rosemary and thyme. Cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes until the onions soften.
  3. While the onions are cooking, brown the sausages in a frying pan with the rest of the oil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on separate tray.
  4. Deglaze the pan with red wine to get all the goodness from the sausages and add the delicious red wine/sausage juice into the onion pan. Cook for a few minutes and then add in the tinned tomatoes.
  5. Slice the sausages into 2cm/0.5in thick slices and add to the pan. Turn down to a simmer and cook for a minimum of 3 hours. The longer and slower you cook the ragù, the richer and fuller it will taste. Stir from time to time to scrape the bottom. If it’s catching, add a glug of water and stir again. You want the ragù to reduce and thicken. As the ragù cooks and reduces, the flavour will intensify so it’s best to check the seasoning once it’s finished cooking.
  6. Serve with Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
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