Sicilian Ragu’ Sauce with Ground Beef

“Ragu’ con Carne Tritata”

“Sucu ca Carni Capuliata”


This ragu’ sauce differs from the Bolognese meat sauce for the amount of tomato used and for the absence of the carrots, celery and butter used in the classic sauce. Another feature of the Bolognese sauce is the use of combining the ground beef, pork or veal. 
The Sicilian version of ragu’ with ground beef, even though it is made with few ingredients, produces an aroma and taste well balanced and this simple sauce can be a distinguished companion to baked ziti or by adding peas you can use this sauce to make a classic Palermitano dish the Baked Ring Pasta, “Anelletti con Carne Capoliata”.



  • 1 large onion chopped finely
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • 1 cans 12 oz. tomato paste, diluted with 1 can 12 oz. water
  • 2 cups Italian peeled tomatoes, strained
  • 5 basil leaves
  • A pinch of oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Over medium-high heat, in a 6 quart sauce pot combine ¼ cup of olive oil and the onions: cook until the onion is golden in color. 
Add the ground beef, stirring continuously until it begins to brown, use a wooden spoon to mash any clumps of meat. Add the wine and cook a few minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
Add tomato paste and stir it into the meat. Cook it a few minutes; add 
12 oz. of water (use the can as measuring cup) and the strained tomato. 
Add salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. 
Sauce should be a little watery, if necessary add additional water to cover the meat.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Let it rest, then skim off any excessive fat.