Penne with ragout of game, sausage and red wine

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This is a great way to use up all the trimmings and bits of game that sit in the freezer. A French stew of meat, poultry, fish or vegetables. ‘Ragoût’ is the French word for ‘stew’, but the term can also refer to a tomato-based sauce.The basic method of the ragout preparation involves slow cooking over a low heat. The main ingredients are many; ragouts may be prepared with or without meat, a wide variety of vegetables may be incorporated, and they may be more or less heavily spiced and seasoned. This hearty and colorful stew packed with sausage, onion, tomatoes,  pasta, game meat and red wine is sure to satisfy even the hungriest family member.


1 large onion, sliced

50 g butter

2 thyme sprigs

200 g spicy pork sausages, sliced

8 pheasant legs, or a mix of game pieces, about 1 kg in total

100 g seasoned flour

50 ml olive oil

50 g bacon, sliced

1 leek, chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

300 ml stock

300 ml red wine

2 bay leaves

750 gr dried penne pasta

penne ragu


Heat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. In a casserole, sweat the onion gently with the butter and thyme until soft but not coloured. Add the spicy sausage and cook until crisp. Lift the sausages and onions from the pot and set aside.

Toss the pheasant or whatever game you are using in the seasoned flour. Add the oil in the pot and fry the meat, giving it a good colour. Add the bacon, leek and tomatoes and fry with a bit of vigour, stirring to smash tomatoes. Mix the remaining flour with the stock and the red wine and pour into the casserole. Add the bay leaves, onion and sausages and bring to the boil. Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.

Take the pot from the oven and carefully lift the game out. Strip the meat from the bones and mince it roughly with a chopping knife. Discard the game scraps and thyme sprigs. Stir the meat back into the ragout and keep warm.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain it and add to the ragout. Bring to a rapid boil before serving.