Toddler – Ragu Sauce

“This recipe is the the real McCoy and definitely doesn’t use any of those readymade pasta sauces. It’s just so versatile, soft and tender that it is worth the two hours cooking time – trust me it’s worth it!”

– Neven Maguire, Chef and Father

This dish is a perfect stand-by for converting into dishes such as moussaka, cannelloni, chilli con carne, lasagne, cottage pie and as a filling for pancakes and jacket potatoes.


Ragu Sauce
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
25g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
225g button mushrooms, sliced
100g rindless pieces of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
350g lean minced beef (quality assured)
1 tbsp tomato purée

Ragu Sauce
400g cans chopped tomatoes
300ml beef stock (low salt kallo)
1tbsp chopped fresh basil
freshly ground black pepper


Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan with a lid until sizzling.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms and bacon and sauté over a medium heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and everything is lightly browned, stirring frequently.

Add the minced beef to the pan, reduce the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes until well browned, stirring to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the tomato purée, canned tomatoes and half of the stock and bring to the boil, stirring to combine.

Reduce the heat under the pan, half cover with the lid and simmer very gently for about 2 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender, stirring occasionally and adding a little more of the remaining stock as it becomes absorbed.

Add basil to the sauce and mix well to combine, then simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes until the bolognese sauce is well reduced and thickened, stirring frequently.

Season with ground black pepper.

Serve with pasta.

Nutritional Information

Per serving:

Energy 236 kcals
Protein 13g
Carbohydrates 20g
Fat 12g
Source of Fibre