I am pretty much in awe of those people who carefully craft a weekly meal plan and can get by on a weekly trip to the supermarket.

I am not one of those people.

I do an online fortnightly grocery shop but it seems to consist almost exclusively of loo paper and washing powder – the consumption of both seems to have increased exponentially since my boyfriend moved in. This shop, however, never seems to contain the ingredients for one complete meal, let alone a week’s worth and is supplemented by daily trips to one of the supermarkets on the way home from work.

Sometimes it’s supplemented by two trips to the supermarket if I remember in between supermarkets that I’ve forgotten something.

For me, this isn’t so much of a problem as I would quite happily eat pasta every night. Or at least every night that I wasn’t eating pizza. My obsession with collecting random pasta shapes also means that it’s one of the few ingredients that I’m not likely to ever run out of.

Sadly my boyfriend is one of those people who hates eating the same, or even similar, meals for consecutive nights. He’s the type of person who will say that we can’t have a risotto that night because we had egg fried rice the night before. Even though they are completely different rice dishes and actually the idea of a risotto that tastes like egg fried rice makes me feel slightly nauseous.

I have to try and sneak in my pasta fixes when I can therefore. I was working from home the other Friday and came across a couple of packets of buffalo mince that I’d bought on a whim. I decided to turn them into a bolognese-style ragu with some slightly past their best cherry tomatoes and a dash of red wine. I enjoyed a giant plate of pasta and ragu for lunch and then turned the rest of it into a lasagne that we enjoyed the next day.  Two pasta hits in two days?  I know how to work the system.

You obviously don’t have to use buffalo mince for this ragu – I use pretty much the same method with other ground meat. Buffalo meat does have the advantage of being lower in fat than regular beef and just as tasty. Another note, I like my ragu with plenty of tomato (which has the added advantage of bulking the sauce out a a bit healthily and cheaply) but if you’re not such a fan, feel free to use only one can of chopped tomatoes.  And you can leave out the cherry tomatoes too. I won’t judge you (much).

Buffalo ragu

Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 600gground buffalo meat
  • 1 largeonion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 cloveof garlic, crushed
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 200gcherry tomatoes
  • 2 x 400gcans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oftomato puree
  • Salt and pepperto taste
  • A pinch ofsugar

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meat and fry until brown. Remove the meat from the pan and put it aside to drain (I usually put it on a couple of sheets of kitchen roll on a plate).
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, heat and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onion is transluscent.
  3. Add the meat back to the pan, pour in the glass of wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and bay leaves, reduce the heat and simmer for at least an hour until the sauce looks rich and hearty. Have a quick taste to see if you need any salt, pepper and sugar.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and serve over pasta or use to make a lasagne. The sauce will also freeze well.
27 Responses to "pasta with buffalo ragu"
  1. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    this looks delicious! I agree with you, you can’t get enough pasta!

  2. Love how rich and intense this looks. Yum.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ew, yes, egg freid risotts does not sound good. Not qsure quite how I can explain that but it sounds wrong.
    And I am all for extra tomato.

  4. this sounds wonderful!+ i’m with you – i could eat pasta every single evening. we have lots of different shapes, too, + I love to play around with what shape works best with which sauce, etc.

  5. Katherine says:

    That was me who couldn’t spell just above, BTW.

  6. london bakes says:

    @Jenny – I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    @leaf – Thanks! The longer you cook it, the better it is I find!

    @Anon – I’m now quite intrigued by the egg fried risotto concept but I’m not sure it will be one of my successes.

    @Amy – I have a strange (and completely irrational) dislike of spaghetti so I love all the variety of pasta shapes you can get.

  7. london bakes says:

    @Katherine – I thought it was probably you.

  8. Louisa says:

    This looks lovely and rich. Totally agree about the weekly shop: my boyfriend and I always have great intentions of a meal plan/weekly shop and yet each week we end up going to the supermarket every day!

  9. Joanne says:

    No matter how much planning I do, I can never seem to get by with one trip to the grocery store either! Maybe it’s a food blogger thing?

    This dish looks so comforting though…I’d willingly eat it multiple days in a row!

  10. I have the exact same problem. What is with boys and toilet paper? This buffalo ragu looks delicious by the way! I was needing some inspiration for dinner and I think I found it.

  11. holy crap, this looks amazing. I love how hearty and meaty this is!! I’d eat 5 bowls of this…if you had that much to go around haha! i forget things at the store all the sucks. i hate going back again for it…like last week, i was going to make spinach salad and forgot the spinach haha

  12. london bakes says:

    @Louisa – I almost always lay the blame at my boyfriend’s door because he does inconvenient things like drink tea with milk which means we are on the constant verge of having a milk crisis.

    @Joanne – I like ‘it’s a food blogger thing’ better than ‘it’s a very disorganised thing’ so I’ll be using that excuse from now on!

    @Maria – You never really know how long someone spends in the loo until they move in.

    @Julie – I always make a double batch and freeze it but I would happily sit down and eat 5 plates of pasta with you instead!

  13. Oh man, buffalo meat! I would love to randomly find that in my grocery store. Unfortunately not the case. This looks fabulous, though–I love a nice hearty meat sauce.

  14. Amy says:

    Ahah I loved reading this post. I only cook for myself at the moment, but as I result I’ve used this as an excuse to never make a real meal except about once every two weeks. Yet somehow I still manage to “have” to stop by the store on the way home each day from classes… haha, oh well. This looks amazing though (I would eat it three days in a row, easy).

  15. OMG. I’ve fallen out of my chair. I love this.

  16. This sounds amazing, Kathryn. The sauce looks so hearty!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I love pasta shells!

  18. Ohmygosh! Love this pasta recipe! My stomach just growled big time!

  19. Haha I think I’d get on with your boyfriend, I hate eating the same thing two days in a row!

    A couple of years ago I could happily have lived on pasta, but since living with my protein obsessed boyfriend my tastes have really changed. This dish satisfies both cravings though – lots of lovely meat and plenty of pasta. I like the idea of using buffalo mince too, yum.

  20. Your pasta shapes are adorable. Like you, I’d eat pasta every day if I could! Tummy rumbling..xo

  21. london bakes says:

    @Tara – It was actually part of one of my online shops but I am also very lucky to live near a butcher that has it too.

    @Amy – Ha, I remember those days well!

    @Bev – I hope you didn’t fall on a rusty nail from the renovation.

    @Cassie – The weather here is so miserable that I need all the hearty food I can get!

    @Elizabeth – Me too, all the more to soak up the sauce!

    @Laurie – Ha, glad you liked it!

    @thelittleloaf – It’s easier now there are two of us to not eat the same thing but when I lived alone I used to have the same meals for several days in a row because it was so much easier.

    @Elaina – Mine too, lol! Thanks lovely xo

  22. Mmm, I love buffalo, but never thought to use it in my ragu. Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. I am lucky, my husband would eat the same thing (assuming he liked it) every night of the week. I on the other hand like a little more variety. This looks wonderful, and I always have pasta and ground beef in the house.

  24. Andri says:

    hehehe Im one of those people who plan their menu =P
    Another lovely recipe btw =)

  25. izumi says:

    Hi! I just started my new blog.
    i really enjoyed your blog for the first time:)
    everything looks so yummy !

  26. london bakes says:

    @Cathy – My pleasure!

    @Erin – I have discovered that if the meal involves fries, my boyfriend will happily eat that for a couple of days in a row ;)

    @Andri – I wish I was more like you!

    @izumi – Thank you, I’ll check out your blog now!

  27. I know that supermarket feeling. Mr Ltt expects me to go after work which I find a massive irritation because I already went this week and if he’s forgotten something, why do I have to shop for it?!

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