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Sausage Ragu with Spinach, Ricotta and Mixed Herbs

Indulge in a sumptuous feast with this Sausage and Ricotta Cheese Pasta, a recipe that harmoniously blends the richness of sausage with the fresh, vibrant flavours of summer herbs and vegetables. This pasta dish is not just a treat to your palate but a nourishing meal brimming with a blend of delightful textures and flavours.

This recipe takes a delightful twist on traditional pasta dishes by allowing the sausage to simmer with an aromatic tomato sauce, enriched with a blend of fresh herbs, for an extended period. This slow simmer allows the robust flavours of the sausage to meld beautifully with the tangy tomatoes and herbaceous notes of basil, parsley, thyme, and sage, creating a sauce that is both deep and complex in flavour.

Adding a touch of freshness, the baby spinach integrates a hint of earthiness, while the ricotta cheese lends a creamy, rich texture that binds all the elements together, offering a harmonious balance of flavours in each bite. Perfect for a cosy family dinner or a weekend gathering, this pasta dish promises a heartwarming and fulfilling culinary experience that beckons you to slow down and savour each moment.

So, gather around the table and dive into a plate of this comforting pasta, a dish that embodies the essence of home-cooked happiness.

Basic Ingredients for Sausage Ragu with Spinach, Ricotta and Mixed Herbs

Sausage Ragu:

Beef Sausage: The sausage is the star of this dish, providing a hearty and meaty foundation. It adds a rich flavour and texture, making the dish more fulfilling. The slow simmering process allows it to release its juices, which mix with the sauce, enhancing its flavour profile.

Butter: Butter is used to add a rich and creamy flavour to the sauce. It also helps in sautéing the onions and garlic, allowing them to caramelize and release their natural sweetness.

Vegetable Oil: This oil helps in frying the sausage and forming the base for the sauce. It helps in evenly cooking the ingredients without them getting burned or sticking to the pan.

Red Onion: Red onions add a slightly sweet and mild flavour to the sauce. They form the aromatic base for the sauce, pairing well with the tomatoes and herbs.

Minced Garlic: Garlic adds a zesty, pungent flavour that complements the richness of the sausage and deepens the complexity of the sauce.

Fresh Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes offer a tangy and bright note to the dish. They break down during the simmering process, contributing to a rich and thick sauce.

Tomato Paste: This ingredient helps to thicken the sauce and intensifies the tomato flavour, making the sauce richer and more robust.

Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Basil, Chives, Sage, Thyme – 1 tbsp each, finely chopped): These herbs infuse the sauce with fresh, aromatic, and earthy flavours, creating a harmonious blend and enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Salt and Pepper: These classic seasonings are used to enhance the natural flavours of the ingredients and bring harmony to the dish.


Baby Spinach: Adds a touch of freshness and earthiness to the dish, while also providing a splash of colour and an additional layer of texture.

Ricotta Cheese: Ricotta cheese brings a creamy and slightly sweet note to the dish. It helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and adds a luxurious texture to the sauce.

alternative ingredients

Sausage: You can substitute sausage with ground turkey or chicken for a leaner option. Vegetarians might opt for plant-based sausage or mushrooms for a meaty texture.

Butter: If you prefer a lighter version, you can replace butter with olive oil.

Fresh Tomatoes: In the absence of fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes can be a great alternative.

Ricotta Cheese: Cottage cheese or cream cheese can be used as a substitute for ricotta, offering a slightly different, but still creamy, texture.

Preparation Tips for Sausage Ragu with Spinach, Ricotta and Mixed Herbs

Herb Choices: Feel free to adjust the herb quantities according to your taste preferences, or experiment with other fresh herbs like oregano or rosemary.

Sausage: To make sure the sausage cooks evenly, break it into smaller pieces as it cooks.

Pasta Cooking: Cook the pasta until it is just shy of al dente, as it will continue to cook when mixed with the hot sauce.

Serving Tips for Sausage Ragu with Spinach, Ricotta and Mixed Herbs

Garnish: Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or grated Parmesan cheese for an added layer of flavour and a visually appealing presentation.

Sides: Serve with a side of garlic bread or a simple green salad to complement the rich flavours of the pasta.

storage tips

Refrigeration: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing: You can freeze the sauce separately in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating: Reheat the pasta in a saucepan over medium heat, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent dryness. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.

Sausage Ragu with Spinach, Ricotta and Mixed Herbs

Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 500 g beef boerewors (beef sausage)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 300 g baby spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 350 g pasta of choice
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Remove the sausage from its casing and add to the skillet. Break it apart with a spatula and cook until it’s no longer pink and slightly crispy.  Remove the sausage from the pan and keep aside.
  • To the skillet add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, stir in the chopped red onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Add in the cooked sausages, diced fresh tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock to the skillet. Stir well to combine, making sure to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld and the liquid to reduce.  Add the freshly chopped parsley, basil, chives, sage, and thyme to the mixture.
  • Separately, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sausage and tomato sauce, tossing well to combine and to coat the pasta with the sauce. Stir in the baby spinach, allowing it to gently wilt in the hot pasta and sauce.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the baby spinach, allowing it to gently wilt in the sauce.  Finally, stir in the ricotta cheese until well incorporated and the sauce becomes creamy. Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy your delicious and hearty sausage and ricotta pasta is ready to be savoured. It pairs wonderfully with a side of garlic bread or a simple salad.

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