Adrift Kitchen: Nonna's Pasta Sauce

Adrift Kitchen: Nonna's Pasta Sauce


As the name suggests, this special pasta sauce recipe is from the kitchen of our PR 'gal' Prue. She (like most of us) had been making bolognese sauce the 'standard' way until she met her husband, and was introduced to a whole new way of makin' the pasta 'sauca'.

The secret to success with this one is making the 'sauca' well in advance, so you can let it slowly simmer away on the stove for as long as possible (Prue's Italian family will often allow the sauce to bubble away for up to a day before serving).

To make mid-week life a bit easier, try making a double batch of this sauce and freezing some for later. Then it's just a matter of popping the frozen sauce in the microwave to defrost and throwing some pasta in to boil.

Buon appetito!


Prep Time: 20 minutes                         Cook Time:   30 minutes+                          Servings: 4


1 Onion (finely diced)

2 Cloves garlic (feel free to add another clove or two if you like garlic!)

600g Pork/veal mince (readily available at most supermarkets or your local butcher)

1 Jar Passata (available in the same section as bottled pasta sauce)

1 Beef stock cube (dissolved in two cups water)

1 Teaspoon sugar

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Handful of torn basil leaves

Salt & pepper (to taste)



  1. Slowly heat your frypan and add in the olive oil.
  2. Next up, add in your onion and garlic. Stir for 2-3 minutes until onion is more translucent in appearance and the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Before adding the mince to the frypan, try breaking it up so that it's in smaller pieces as opposed to larger chunks. This recipe (and the Italian style pasta sauce) is about keeping the mince as fine as possible, with more sauce/liquid than mince.
  4. Once the mince is added to the frypan, continue to stir until the mince is browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour in the passata and beef stock mixture, turning the heat up on the frypan to bring the sauce to the boil. Allow to bubble away for 5 minutes to allow some of the liquid to reduce.
  6. Once that step is complete, add in the sugar and reduce the heat to allow the sauce to simmer.
  7. While the sauce simmers away on low heat, it's important to keep an eye on it so as not to allow all the liquid to evaporate. Remember to taste some sauce on a spoon, giving you a chance to add extra salt or pepper to season as required.
  8. Approximately 20 minutes before you wish to serve the sauce, remember to boil up a saucepan of water (don't forget to add salt before the pasta) to cook some pasta! We like to serve our sauce with a small ravioli (if possible purchase from a local deli or the supermarket) or you can use any dry pasta you wish.
  9. Stir some basil through the sauce a few minutes before serving to give it an extra fragrant boost.


We hope you've enjoyed this recipe made in the Adrift kitchen! If you've got any ideas for recipes you'd like us to make please comment or email them to

Adrift xx

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