There are two basic types of pasta sauce; one made with meat one without. Marinara sauce has no meat and a typical meat like Bolognese or Italian Sunday Gravy does. The Bolognese has chunk size, broken up, bite size pieces of neat in it and Sunday Gravy is noted for having meatballs, sausage, a chunk of pork and sometimes even some Braciole. Another meat flavored sauce in Italy is called Ragu. This sauce is not to be confused with the one you find in your supermarket, however, it is made in a similar way and not bad in a pinch. The Ragu in Italy is usually made with ground meat and has evidence of it but not the bite size pieces you get in the Bolognese.


  • 1 lb. boneless beef or veal stew meat cut against the grain into 1 inch pieces. You may also add some ground beef 90/10 % if you choose but cook it accordingly.
  • 4 oz. olive oil
  • 2 coarsely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 bay leaf crushed in small pieces
  • small handful of flat chopped parsley,
  • small handful of fresh basil
  • 1 cup of dry white wine and remember, no not cook with any wine you wouldn't drink.
  • 2 - 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of beef stock or commercial beef base deluded to soup consistency
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a large pot with a heavy bottom heat the oil to med./high, add the stew meat and brown lightly. Add the onion, the bay leaf S&P to taste, half of the garlic, a some beef stock and cook covered until the onion is translucent. Add the wine and let it reduce. Add the tomatoes, more beef stock, cover and cook over low heat for about 1-2 hours until the meat just about melts in your mouth. Add the remaining garlic and parsley, basil, S&P to taste and whatever else you think it needs. If you want, thicken as required ( your own method or use a Rue. ). Remove from heat after a few minutes and toss with your favorite pasta.

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Submitted 6/1/05.