Anglo-Italian Ragu

My Neapolitan mother-in-law starts cooking at 6am in the morning. Admittedly her ragu is unbeatable. I have a quick version of ragu but it does allow me to stay in bed a little longer.


  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 small carrot, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound minced beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and rosemary.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the beef, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, milk, 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.


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