Roman Pork Sausage Ragu is a traditional dish originating from Rome, Italy, and I put my own little spin on it while staying true to the mainstay of the recipe. The tomato sauce is made with Beefsteak tomatoes and Sungold (orange cherry tomatoes), which gets mixed in a blender with all of the herbs, and then simmers for 2 hours. It sounds labor intensive but is actually ridiculously easy, as you only have to stir it once in awhile while it thickens.
The pork sausage is made with fresh herbs from my garden, however you can use dried herbs instead if you add a bit more than listed on my recipe card. Mix the pork sausage with onions, garlic, and herbs…get your hands dirty here! I like to dig into it and really mix it well. The herbs used were bronze fennel from my garden and if you’ve never grown this in your garden I can’t recommend it enough (link to some seeds!). I picked a ton of it, as the leaves are very wispy and I wanted the anise flavor to really come through. Traditionally, Italian Sausage is made with fennel seed, but fresh is always best. If you can’t find bronze fennel then fennel seed works fine. Refrigerate the sausage overnight in order to achieve the best flavor, but if you are short on time then at least 4 hours in the fridge is ok.
Chop all of the ingredients for the Italian Pork Sausage: red onion, garlic, bronze fennel, oregano, rosemary, and parsley.
When all of the ingredients are chopped, add ground pork and mash it all up with your fingers until it is mixed well. Then refrigerate overnight for best flavor. If you are in a rush you can cheat with 4 hours in the chiller.
This is what it will look like. So many herbs and flavors!
More bronze fennel went into the sauce, just not as much as what went into the sausage. Fresh tomatoes make this dish the best. If you must, you can use crushed tomatoes in a can but it won’t taste as good.
Mixing the ingredients in a blender saves you from having to blanch the tomatoes. Who has time for that, right?
The color of the Ragu will be quite pink at first, before it cooks and thickens into a lovely and immensely flavored sauce. Let it simmer in a large sauté pan over medium heat until it starts steaming, and then turn the heat down to medium low. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring every once in awhile so it thickens evenly.
I like to add heavy whipping cream to this, which is totally optional. I love how creamy it makes the sauce. Check out the lone bay leaf in the center. Wow this was so tasty while it was finishing that I kept taking a spoonful and sampling how intense the flavors were!
If you made the Ragu the night before, just reheat it over low heat and add the Italian Pork Sausage. Stir, add noodles, garnish with parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese and serve!
Song for the Prep: Roam by the B-52s
Yes I take liberties with my conceptualized tunes. This is a fun one so just pretend they are singing about Rome, Italy while you prepare this fantastic dish!
Roman Pork Sausage Ragu
- August 8, 2021
- 3 hr
- Print this
- 3 lbs fresh tomatoes
- 1 red onion, minced (cook this in a pan before adding the blended sauce)
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 T fresh basil, chopped
- 1 T bronze fennel, chopped fine (optional)
- 1 T fresh oregano, chopped fine (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
- 1 T red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pork Sausage
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 red onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 C bronze fennel, chopped (or 1 T fennel seeds)
- 2 T fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 T dried oregano)
- 1 T fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
- Pasta Casarecce, Penne, or any type of Italian pasta that has a straw-like shape
- Pecorino Romano shavings for topping
- Parsley for garnish
- Step 1
- Ragu -Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onion. While the onion is cooking, put Ragu ingredients in a blender. Mix until it is as smooth as you can get it. Transfer to the pan with the onions and cook over medium heat until it starts steaming. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Step 2
- Italian Pork Sausage – Chop all of the ingredients, minced and fine. Then add the pork and mix with your hands to get it all blended. Refrigerate overnight, sealed. (or at least 4hours)
- Step 3
- After the sausage has chilled, remove from fridge and cook in a cast iron pan until it is no longer pink.
- Step 4
- If you made the Ragu the night before, heat it slowly before adding the cooked Italian Sausage.
- Step 5
- Cook the noodles per package instructions, saving 1 cup of the water. Add noodles and 1 cup of the water to the sauce with the Italian Sausage.
- Step 6
- Serve with Pecorino Romano shavings and parsley for garnish.