Tuscan Ragù … With a Twist

There are many versions of ragù in Italy. Although similar in terms of being a meat-based sauce, little variances here and there in the recipe make a big difference. Some add a little peperoncino, some add sausage and some include garlic – while others wouldn’t dream of it.

For several years I’ve cooked a Tuscan version of ragù that is fabulously simple to make, but I’ve had to add a twist in how it’s served.

Since I’m not able to eat gluten (which means only gluten-free versions of pasta) I decided to try combining the ragù with mashed cauliflower and the result was a winner! In fact, my husband now prefers it to pasta. How about that!

So here’s my easy Tuscany recipe for ragù combined with mashed cauliflower. Delicious and perfect for autumn/winter dinners.

Pamela’s Tuscan Style Ragù: Recipe serves 8-10 people for one big meal or 2 people for several days 🙂

Please note that the amounts are not exact, because they really don’t have to be. If you prefer a ragù that is more tomato-y, then you add more tomatoes, etc.

  • 3-4 carrots, chopped fine
  • 3-4 ribs of celery, chopped fine
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • a handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 24-32 ounces peeled, crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 bottle of good red wine
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Over medium heat, simmer chopped celery, carrot, onion, garlic and parsley in olive oil for several minutes, until somewhat translucent. Add the ground beef and continue to simmer until the meat is browned. Add the tomatoes, red wine, salt and pepper. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce to low heat and continue to simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove lid for the last half of the simmering time to evaporate excess liquid and thicken the sauce. Taste (of course) and add salt, as needed.

(See cauliflower recipe below.)


Mashed Cauliflower: Recipe serves 4-6 people – usually

  • One large head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
  • Salt to taste

Rinse cauliflower in fresh water. Cut the individual clusters off the stalk and place in a large steamer pot. Steam for 20-30 minutes until cauliflower is very soft and tender when poked with a fork.

Place cooked cauliflower in a food processor with the olive oil and milk. Process on high until mixture is smooth, the texture of mashed potatoes. (You might need to do this in 2 separate batches) Add salt to taste.

Serve hot topped with a large ladle or two of steaming ragù. Buon apettito.

ragu with cauliflower


Add yours →

  1. I loved your ezine! You write beautifully, and I can hardly wait to try your ragu’ recipe. I love ragu, and I love cauliflower. Thank you sweetie! Can’t wait to see you in beautiful Italy!! Have a wonderful holiday season.

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