Sausage Bolognese with Fresh Pasta & Garlic Bread

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Pork, recipes | 0 comments

Sausage Bolognese with Fresh Pasta & Garlic Bread

We made a rich, decadent meat ragu that tastes as if it’s been cooking for hours. Hot Italian sausage adds a savory depth of flavor to this Bolognese sauce, which is served over fresh pasta. The garlic bread not only serves as a delicious purpose, but also a practical one—use it to sop up the remaining sauce. Add a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan, the perfect finishing touch, and you have an amazing meal.

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How did this dish come to be?

Bolognese known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, pronounced “raˈɡu alla boloɲˈɲeːze; -eːse”, ragù bolognese, or simply ragù is a meat-based sauce originating from a little place call Bologna, Italy, hence the name.

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In Italian cooking, its customarily used in preparing tagliatelle al ragù and lasagne alla bolognese. If you do not have tagliatelle, it can also be used with other flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or my favorite fettuccine.

The earliest documented recipe of an Italian meat-based sauce aka ragù served with pasta comes from late 18th century Imola, a city in Bologna region of Italy. A meat sauce recipe for pasta that is specifically described as being “bolognese” appeared in Pellegrino Artusi’s cookbook of 1891. The ragù alla bolognese that is now traditionally associated with tagliatelle and lasagne is somewhat different from Artusi’s recipe.

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In 1982, the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for authentic ragù alla bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.

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The Origins of Ragu

It looks like we indirectly have the Romans to thank for this appetizing way of creating a meat sauce…this, according to Livio Cerini Di Castegnate, one of the greatest Italian cookbook authors of the 20th century.

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But the term “ragù” actually originates from the French verb ragouter, a word that can translate to mean something like ‘to add flavour’. During the Roman invasion of Gaul (aka France), the Gaulicians changed the recipe into a ragout, much similar to saucy stews we know today. Initially, ragù sauces were a kind of stew as a main course, but soon they started to be eaten when spread atop toasted bread.

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All the earlier ragù dishes were made without tomatoes because tomatoes were not brought into Europe until the 1500s, thanks to Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadores.
(The origin of tomatoes traces back to the early Aztecs around 700 A.D; therefore it is believed that the tomato is native to the Americas. It was not until around the 16th century that Europeans were introduced to this fruit, as a result of the colonization of the Americas.)

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Sausage Bolognese with Fresh Pasta & Garlic Bread

We made a rich, decadent meat ragu that tastes as if it's been cooking for hours. Hot Italian sausage adds a savory depth of flavor to this Bolognese sauce, which is served over fresh pasta.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2


  • garlic use 2 large cloves
  • 12 oz hot Italian sausage links
  • tomato paste use 1⁄3 cup
  • 1 pkt beef broth concentrate
  • 3 ⁄4 oz Parmesan
  • 1 Italian hero roll
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ⁄2 lb fresh pasta sheets
  • coarse kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • sugar
  • freshly ground pepper


  • Brown sausage: Preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the center. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and finely chop 2 large garlic cloves. Halve sausages lengthwise to remove from casing. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add sausage, cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and crispy on edges, 5–8 minutes.
  • Build sauce: Add 1⁄2 of the garlic to sausage and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1⁄3 cup of the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens slightly, 1–2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, broth concentrate, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until flavorful and reduced to 2 cups, 16–18 minutes. Keep warm.
  • Make garlic bread: Meanwhile, finely grate Parmesan. Split roll horizontally. Brush cut sides generously with oil and sprinkle with remaining garlic and 1⁄3 of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and bake on a sheet of foil, directly on the center oven rack until golden and crisp, 5–7 minutes. Drizzle with oil and cut each into 4ths.
  • Prep lettuce & dressing: Remove any wilted outer leaves from lettuce. Half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, discarding the end. Into a large bowl, grate 1⁄4 teaspoon lemon zest and squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons oil and a pinch each salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  • Cook pasta: Stack fresh pasta sheets and cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch wide strips. Add to boiling water and cook, stirring to prevent clumping, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain well and return pasta to the pot. Add half of the bolognese and toss to combine.
  • Finish & serve: Add lettuce and half of the remaining Parmesan to dressing and toss to combine. Serve pasta, topped with remaining sauce and Parmesan, with salad and garlic bread alongside. Enjoy!