Arguably one of the most famous meat sauces not only in Italy, but around the world, Beef Ragu has become a staple of many dishes.
What Is Ragu?
This meat-based sauce is typically served with pasta and shares a base with several different types of sauces, such as bolognese sauce.
According to historians, the sauce was invented in the 18th century by Italian Alberto Alvisi. However, the term rage actually comes from the French word “ragout”. The term is thought to have made its way to Italy in the late 18th century after Napoleon’s invasion of the Northern part of the country.
The first documentation, done by Alvisi, described a recipe for a sauce in which cooked meat provided the base. Alvisi was a cook for the Cardinal of Imola, and was later known as “The Cardinal’s Ragu”.
The Evolution Of A Recipe
More modern recipes for ragu began to appear by the beginning of the 20th century. The meal was used frequently on days of feasting and was typically reserved for those upper-class individuals that could afford the meat.
Ragu with pasta quickly became a staple during this time, though it continued to be reserved for wealthier individuals up until World War II.
Today, the recipe for ragu includes large portions of meat cooked along with tomatoes and other vegetables. While beef ragu is one of the most common forms of the dish, other meats that are often used include:
Because of the cooking process that goes into the dish, each meat adds something a little different to the flavor profile of the overall sauce.
Ragu In Restaurants
This popular dish can be found in many Italian restaurants. If you’re looking to get this dish in Paris, a couple of places you may want to try include:
- Casa Nostra, an Italian restaurant and pizzeria located at 2 rue de la Fontaine au Roi
- Via Emilia, an Italian and Mediterranean restaurant located at 22 rue la Bruyere
A Different Take On Pasta Sauce
Though beef ragu shares several similarities to other sauces you might commonly find with pasta and other Italian dishes, this dish is unique in the way that it’s made.
Adding cooked meat to the dish is what helps give the sauce the flavor that it’s known for. Because of this, the sauce can be put over pasta or eaten as a side dish on its own, unlike other sauces.
Making Your Own Ragu
You can also make this delicious traditional dish at home. Recipes like this one are a great way to get started!
Trying Different Meats
One way to make some variations to your traditional beef ragu recipe is to use different meats in the sauce. As noted, early recipes experimented with duck, goose, chicken, and other meats that end up changing the flavor profile of the sauce.
A Traditional And Well-Loved Sauce
Because of its popularity and vast history, beef ragu is a tried and true dinner-time winner. If you haven’t yet tried beef ragu, give it a go – you’re sure to love this hearty meal!