Jamie Oliver’s Classic Ragu Recipes

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This recipe for Jamie Oliver’s classic ragu is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s a rich and flavorful sauce perfect for pasta dishes, lasagna, or even a simple dipping sauce for crusty bread. Packed with ground beef, vegetables, and a touch of tomatoey goodness, this ragu is sure to become a staple in your home cooking repertoire.


Versatile family ragu: Jamie Oliver
Versatile family ragu: Jamie Oliver

1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 500g (1.1 lbs) ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml (3.5 fl oz) red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1.5 liters (50 fl oz) beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly chopped parsley, to serve (optional)

  • Instructions:

    1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until softened and translucent.
    2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Break up the meat with a spoon as it cooks, ensuring it browns evenly.
    3. Once the beef is browned, add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, red wine (if using), and tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
    5. Add the beef broth and bay leaf. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    6. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and let the ragu simmer for at least 1 hour, or until thickened and flavorful. Stir occasionally, breaking up any large chunks of meat.
    7. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasonings to taste before serving.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    Calories: Approximately 450 (depending on fat content of ground beef)

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
  • Sodium: 500mg (depending on added salt)
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Protein: 40g

  • Please note: This is a general estimate and the actual nutritional content may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    This Jamie Oliver ragu recipe is a fantastic way to create a heartwarming and satisfying meal. It’s simple to follow and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. The slow simmering allows the flavors to develop beautifully, resulting in a rich and complex sauce. Serve it over your favorite pasta, use it in lasagna, or get creative and enjoy it with other dishes.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use other types of meat in this recipe?

    Absolutely! You can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or even a combination of different meats for the ground beef. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on the chosen protein.

    2. What if I don’t have red wine?

    No problem! You can simply omit the red wine or substitute it with an equal amount of beef broth.

    3. How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

    For a vegetarian option, simply replace the ground beef with lentils or crumbled tempeh. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on the chosen ingredient.

    4. How can I store leftover ragu?

    Leftover ragu can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

    5. What kind of pasta goes best with ragu?