Quick Pork Ragu


quick pork ragu

Quick Pork Ragu

If you’re not normally a huge sausage fan, I highly recommend seeking out a super good quality butcher who preferably makes their own sausages and trying them out. Trust me there’s a whole world of difference between a cheap and nasty banger and one made with love.

takes: 20 minutes
makes: enough for 2

3-4 thick pork sausages
1 can tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 bag baby spinach leaves

1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan or skillet on a medium high heat.

2. Remove sausage meat from the casings and crumble into the pan. Discard casings.

3. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring to break up the chunks, until the meat is starting to brown.

4. Add tomatoes and butter and cook for another 10 minutes for the sauce to reduce a little.

5. Serve on a bed of baby spinach.


vegetarian – replace pork with drained canned chickpeas or cooked lentils.

vegan – replace sausages with 1 drained can of lentils or about 250g (9oz) of cooked red or green lentils and swap the butter for olive oil.

different sausages – pork are a firm favourite in our house but feel free to use other sausages such as beef or chicken if you like them.

– replace sausages with peeled green prawns (shrimp) simmer until just cooked.

herby – cook a few thyme leaves or rosemary in with the sausages.

budget – replace half of the sausages with cooked or canned white beans.

more substantial – feel free to serve the ragu with your favourite cooked pasta, preferably something short like rigatoni or penne.

more substantial (low carb) – add parmesan. Serve on spiralized Zucchini.

gluten-free – use GF sausages or replace with about 400g (14oz) minced (ground) pork or other meat.

more veg – soften an onion, carrot and celery before adding the pork.

paleo (grain, legume & dairy-free) – replace butter with olive oil.

Usage Suggestions

quick meal – serve as per the recipe or replace baby spinach with finely sliced cabbage, carrot ‘noodles’ or zucchini ‘noodles’ or our ‘ready-to-eat’ veg.

pasta – serve with your favorite cooked pasta.

lasagne – replace the meat sauce in your favourite lasagne recipe.

middle eastern – serve on a bed of hummus with toasted pine nuts and some flat leaf parsley. Add in a little chilli or ground coriander for some extra spice.

on toast – serve on hot buttered toast with lashings of freshly grated parmesan.

Prepare Ahead?

Absolutely. Takes about 20 minutes.

Storage Best Practices

Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or so. Can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

sausages – freeze ’em.

tomatoes – pantry.

butter – keeps in the fridge for months.

baby spinach – either use for another meal or wilt them down in a covered pot with a little olive oil. Wilted spinach will keep for weeks in the fridge. Can be frozen.

Problem Solving Guide

too bland – season with salt & pepper. A little tomato paste can help.

too tomatoey
– I like my ragu quite tomatoey – feel free to use less tomatoes if you prefer a more porky flavour. Extra butter or a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil can help to tame the tomatoes.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy Scalzo January 6, 2014

Forgive me, but I need lots of detailed instructions. A creative, intuitive cook, I am not!

After step 3 when the meat is brown, I assume you add the butter and tomatoes, but how big is the can? 14 oz or 28 oz? Then how long do you cook it? From the picture it looks lovely and thick, so about 30 minutes? No spices, salt, or pepper are added? Finally, the sauce is ladled over raw spinach leaves rather than wilting the spinach into the sauce?

Looks wonderful!


jules January 10, 2014

Sorry Betsy!

I normally have better instructions

14oz can and add the to at and butter after browning the sausages. It only takes 10-15 mins to thicken.

Keep the questions coming!


Karen November 1, 2013

I added the fresh herbs and served over spaghetti squash. It was delicious! The tomato sauce was a bit watery at first, it took a while to reduce (maybe 10-15 minutes, and it could have gone more). I suppose it depends on the tomatoes used. Next time I might add some onion or sliced mushrooms.


jules November 4, 2013

Sounds lovely with spaghetti squash Karen!

Yes the brand of tomatoes will make a difference to the time the sauce takes to reduce… as will the type of pan you use, wider, flatter pans with larger surface area will allow the liquid to evaporate much faster than taller narrower ones.



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