Rustic Sausage Ragu

Ever since I saw this UTube video of Jamie Olivers I knew I had to make this! A Rustic Sausage Ragu is perfect for any time of the year, but is especially delicious in Summer.

I make it on the grille at a high heat but you can make in the oven as well. Basically you are taking a little olive oil, onion and Pancetta, cook til golden. Then add some fresh herbs, saute a few minutes until the aromas release. Then you add whole tomatoes with stem removed (preferably fresh from the garden) and cook in the grille or oven 20 to 30 minutes or until the skins split. Using tongs carefully lift the skins off the tomatoes. Mix tomato mixture and break up a little and add the sausages and tuck into tomatoes. Add garlic and fresh basil. Add some olive oil, capers, salt and pepper. Bake for about an hour.

This is a very versatile rustic tomato sauce. Deeply rich in tomato flavor. You can omit the sausage and just make a tomato sauce. You can add black olives, mushrooms, green bell pepper or even red pepper for some spice. You can also use less sausages than I did.

Rustic Sausage Bake

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 90 min


  • 6-8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz diced Pancetta
  • Whole small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh Oregano
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • About 6 lbs native tomatoes or really good store bought, with stems cut out
  • 10 Italian sweet sausage links
  • 3-4 cloves garlic smashed or sliced
  • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp or so capers, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar



Get a baking pan that will fit your tomatoes snugly. Heat grille or oven to 400 degrees f. Heat pan until hot.


Put about 6 Tbsp olive oil in your baking pan and add Pancetta and the onions if your using them. Cook until golden.


Add the bay leaves, oregano, rosemary and thyme and cook slightly to release aromas.


Place the tomatoes stem side down in the baking pan on top of the herbs.


Cook about 20-30 minutes or until the skin on tomatoes starts to crack.


With tongs, pull the skins off of the tomatoes. If the skins do not want to come off easily, cook longer until they do.


Lower grille or oven to 350 degrees F.


Break up tomatoes a little and mix. Add fresh basil, capers and garlic.


Oil sausages with a little olive oil. Take sausage links and tuck in between tomatoes. For easier eating sometimes I take each sausage link and twist in the middle to make smaller links.


Drizzle a little more olive oil on to and add salt and pepper.


Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour. Turn sausage one or two times during cooking.


Finish with a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar.

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