If you’re like me, you remember your parents giving you spaghetti with meatballs or just in a marinara sauce. I know that for a fact that was a simple, easy meal to give your kids. Everybody loved it. Dump the jar out, make pasta. Mix. Add more cheese. Simple. Easy. Family Favorite. Right? Yes. Thanks for agreeing with me. That is all.

Kidding! I made a super simple ragú thanks to the amazing, groundbreaking, did I say amazing? Alison Roman. She has completely changed how I see my home cooking. I’m even surprised to say that since her, I will call, philosophy in cooking is very, very very, similar to my mom´s and my Tio Efrás cooking. Have people over. Food shouldn’t be super fancy. It’s sometimes better to dine in (and splurge on some ingredients) than to go all over town. (Even though I really still like that) After watching Alison’s ragú recipe. I cracked down and made my own version.

This recipe, just like Alison’s is super simple, I doubled it my first time making it because it freezes really well. You can use this for polenta, over rice, and obviously with some pasta!

Ground and pork Ragú

If you watched Alison’s video, my recipe is similar, I just added and changed some ingredients. I WANT and NEED her recipe books Dining In and Nothing Fancy. Which I will not be shamed to say, I did go to Barnes and Noble and went through it. I wanted to see these books in person (and not buy them for my ipad). The books are heavy. They are AMAZING. And if you have any friend that somewhat cooks or dabbles in the art of cooking, they need this. Also, I am that friend of yours that dabbles in the art of cooking, so feel free to send a copy my way!

Serves: 4 (easy to double)
Cook time: 45 mins (if you double the recipe, it would be around an hour)
This recipe has about 30 mins of “leave it alone time” hence why its a good idea to double it.


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (i used some garlic and chili infused oil; recipe later thi)
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped (I love garlic, you can add less)
  • Salt (Kosher) and pepper to taste
  • 2-4 anchovies fillets (Alison knows what she’s talking about and now I like anchovies – I hated them before.)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef (80/20 fat)
  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (total of 28 ounces)
  • 12 ounces of pasta.
  • Parmesan cheese

How to:

  • After you prep your ingredients, make sure that both the ground pork and beef are very, very, well mixed together.

    I used my 2 Dutch ovens for this recipe, my biggest one to boil the pasta and the other to cook my ragú. I used the big Dutch oven (my lovely Le Creuset) to mix everything together.
  • 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. 8 minutes. Add anchovies and pepper flakes. Let it all hang for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the combined meat and cook. Break the meat as you add it to the pan. 2 -3 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes and use this as an opportunity to scrape the pan. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • After the 15 minutes, think about your vessel for the ragú. You could serve it with polenta, I chose to use some fettuccini. I cook the pasta 2 minutes shy of what the box tells me is the max time of cooking (11 minutes for a box that says 13, etc). Add the pasta to the ragú mix and cook for those last minutes.
  • Serve immediently, top with cheese, oregano (optional) or some green onions.

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