Rigatoni with Meat Sauce (Rigatoni al Ragù di Carne)
25 MIN
2 H 15 MIN

Rigatoni with Meat Sauce (Rigatoni al Ragù di Carne)



  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 whole raw duck leg
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground beef
  • 1 Italian sausage, spicy or mild, casing removed
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) whole plum tomatoes, coarsely crushed with your hands
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) beef or chicken broth
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 lb (340 g) mezze rigatoni, garganellior other short pasta with a large opening
  • 1/2 cup (35 g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. In a large skillet over high heat, cook the onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes in 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Set the vegetables aside in a bowl.
  2. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, brown the duck on both sides in the remaining oil. Set aside with the vegetables, leaving any fat in the skillet.
  3. Add the beef and sausage meat. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until golden. Deglaze with the wine and let reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Return the reserved vegetables and duck to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the duck and let cool. Remove any fat and bones. Compost the skin and bones. Chop the meat and return to the sauce. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning.
  5. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until very al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring well to coat the pasta in the sauce. Add the reserved cooking water to thin out the sauce, as needed. Remove the bay leaf. Garnish with the Parmesan.


The sauce freezes well.