TLC Ragu

TLC Ragu

A ragu recipe is as individual as a fingerprint.

My ragu recipe is totally different to my mums and it’s something that I’ve evolved over time.

It’s quite different to my bolognese sauce and lasagne sauce, but delicious and packed with veggies too.

If you struggle to get vegetables into children, try this recipe!

This is one of the many lean recipes that I’ve created where flavour and simplicity are key. There are hundreds of lean recipes in my app The Lean Cook with adjustable calories and macros.

Ingredients for 4 servings

250 g extra lean beef mince
250 g extra lean pork mince
120 g carrots
120 g onion
120 g celery
12 g olive oil
1 chicken stock cube
1 parmesan rind
800 g chopped tomatoes, blended until smooth
200 ml water
50 g tomato puree
salt and pepper


  • Finely chop the carrots, onion and celery using a food processor.
  • Take a large saucepan and put it onto a medium heat with the olive oil.
  • Add the chopped vegetables and take a few minutes to soften them before removing them from the pan.
  • Put the pan back onto the heat and add the pork and beef mince.
  • Cook the mince until it has browned before adding the softened vegetables back into the pan.
  • Take a moment to thoroughly combine the ingredients before sprinkling the stock cube over the mixture and adding the tomato puree.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir the mince to cook out the tomato puree and distribute the stock cube.
  • Add the blended tomatoes along with the water and a pinch of sugar.  This will remove any acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Finally add the parmesan rind to the sauce.  This is going to add a depth of flavour that you won’t believe and is totally worth it!
  • Bring the sauce to the boil before turning the heat right down to a simmer and leave it for 30-45 minutes to cook or alternatively transfer the sauce to a slow cooker – see notes for further details.
  • When the sauce is almost ready, taste it and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with your favourite pasta shape or with courgetti, the choice is yours!

Recipe Notes

  • I like to use low salt stock cubes.
  • Make sure your mince is extra lean, less than 6% of fat per 100g.
  • I like to use Parmigiano Reggiano for its fuller flavour.
  • Traditionally in Italian cooking we use the smallest pinch of sugar to take any acidity out of the tomatoes.
  • To cook the sauce in a slow cooker, follow all steps to make the sauce and pour the mixture into your slow cooker. I cooked my ragu in my slow cooker all day on a low setting.
  • I like to batch cook my ragu for the freezer as this is a family staple!

Nella Foulds
Nella Foulds

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