An exceptional pasta sauce from southern Italy

What is the best way to season pasta? This is a tricky question, and unfortunately there is not a unique and universal answer. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a new sauce to add a magic flavour to your pasta, what about ragù lucano? It is a traditional ragù coming from what it is was called Lucania, an ancient Italian region that nowadays corresponds more or less to Basilicata, in the south of the peninsula.

No matter if it is orecchiette o maccheroni, this ragù suits any kind of pasta, I promise! And, if you want to add a little bit more of flavour, you can add a pinch of chili pepper in the sauce. A great combination comes with the red wine Castel del Monte, drunk by people from Lucania while enjoying this dish. The meat can also be served as main dish.


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Un post condiviso da Antonio Turturiello (@turturielloantonio)

Some history behind this delicacy

With very ancient origins, this recipe has firm roots in the tradition of Basilicata. The Lucanian ragù is a “cousin” of the Neapolitan ragù, as it is not prepared with minced meat, but with whole pieces of veal, lamb, pork, chicken, and the less noble parts of not young animals. It’s definitely a poor recipe, which comes from the tradition of using leftovers in a mouthwatering way.


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Un post condiviso da Lara Marini (@lara_marini)

The simple version of this recipe:


  • 500 gr of pork lean meat
  • 100 gr of bacon
  • 70 gr of pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 3 slices of garlic
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 300 gr of tomatoes
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Oil or lard
  • Pepper
  • Chili pepper (discretionary)


Flatten the pork lean meat with the help of a meat tenderizer. Mince the garlic and the parsley, put them on the meat and add the grated pecorino. Then add the thinly cut bacon and some cinnamon or nutmeg.

Roll the meat and tide it. Put in on a pan, pour 5 spoons of oil and brown a slice of garlic. Take it out and let the meat cook for 5 minutes. Add the red wine, cover the pan with a lid and let the meat on the fire for 10 minutes.

Peel the tomatoes, take the seeds out and add them on the meat with salt and pepper. Let it cook for 40 minutes over low heat. Add water if needed.

Serve warm and buon appetito!

Cover photo from Youtube