Half-Ass Ragu

Tomorrow I want to make fresh pasta with a ragu meat sauce, and I don’t want to go to the store. I have onions, garlic, celery, BTB, a 28oz can of SM tomatoes, lots of dried Italian spices.

What I am missing from recipes I have used in the past are carrots (don’t think that is a big deal), and about half of the beef (only 2/3 lb.) most recipes call for with 28oz of tomatoes.

Is this a big deal with only about half the beef called for. I have some bacon, but only about 1/3 pound which still brings me about 30% short.



You’re good to go.


Sounds fine to me. I’d use the bacon too!


Should I fry it up before hand and add it towards the end, or add it to the beef/veggies and cook it with them?

Never done bacon in a ragu.

Grind it up and render it first, then use the fat to saute your vegetables before you add the ground beef.


I’d chop up the bacon and add it when you add the beef - essentially treat it like you’d see pancetta treaded in a recipe.

One thing carrots add, besides their flavor, is a little sweetness. So if the sauce doesn’t taste balanced in the end, it might need a little sugar YMMV.


Ha ha… both sound good but I am leaning towards @biondanonima

I’d fry it at the beginning and use some of the fat along with some olive oil to saute the beef/veggies. Personally I’d just leave it in the whole cooking time. To me these kinds of sauces are very flexible and forgiving! Who knows- you might invent a new favorite!

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To make Bolognese Ragù for 6 you have enough Beef and you could sub the Bacon for the Pork(I would give it a quick blanch to get rid of some of the salt/smoke/sugar that is has.)
Carrots are the real missing ingredient.
The Recipe that I know only has Beef Mince, Pork Mince, Butter, Onion, Carrots, Celery, Red Wine, Milk and Tomato Paste.

If I was going to use bacon . I would blanch it to take the smokiness out of it .


I’m a fan of smoky flavors, but I guess not everybody is! :grinning:

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Love smoky, just not in Bolognese Ragù :smiley:


You have all the ingredients for making spaghetti amatriciana without needing the beef. Simple quick and oh so good. I rarely have guanciale so use bacon instead all the time. The pastas in Rome are often made with quick sauces.

Essentially doing this with a frozen half rack baby backs and 2 frozen Italian sausages.

Still in the stew pot. Bones in still for flavor I guess. They are loose now

Added fish sauce and ketsup

Also trinity plus carrots


I have a plethora of dried mushrooms on hand for such emergencies.


I always wanted to cook a plethora.



In the end this came out great. Woulda liked some parsley or parm but I made what I had and it worked out. (I don’t put a ton of sauce on my spaghetti).


That looks spicy!

Crushed red pepper flakes don’t really move the heat needle for me anymore!

Howlin rays howlin hot plus and hotboys extra hot do! I get a nice buzz off of that…runner’s high! Possible vindaloo sighting for me later!