Ventricina Ragu

Ventricina Ragu

Ventricina Ragu is the simplest way to recapture that indefinable tomato sauce you tasted after exploring Abruzzo.  It’s fail-safe too, the succulent Queen of Abruzzo’s cured meats does all the hard work for you, providing the right amount of sweet chilli, wild fennel and a touch of orange to make a light ragu that suits all seasons.

For those who don’t know this coarse, ovoid-shaped Vastese salami, it’s created up in Vasto’s hilly zone near the Trigno and Sinello Rivers. Choice cuts of pork,  de-boned thighs, loins and shoulder are mixed with the famous Altino peperoncino, salt and a sprinkle of wild fennel flowers, seeds or rosemary depending on who you ask, and stuffed in bladder castings that are traditionally washed in orange juice and then left to mature for 100 days.  If you are buying some look for Ventricina with a bright orange-red hue, pomegranate red and brown are the mark of low quality in this type of salami.

The journalist Piergiorgio Greco says that “Ventricina is the appetising tale of humanity and history of entire villages that dot the southern appendix of the strong and gentle region”, humanity that today is worth some 4.5 million euros!    If you are in Vasto over the summer, check out the Ventricina del Vastese Festival to sample just how good this salami is or alternatively take yourself off to those hill-top villages and taste the subtle differences in their prized Ventricina.

Ventricina del Vastese

Ventricina Ragu

Villa Maiella Restaurant
A fragrant all season ragu that lets Abruzzo's Queen of cold cuts do all the hard work for you
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 300 gr of Ventricina del Vastese
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 30 g of Onion
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 glass of Dry White Wine
  • 400 gr tin of Plum Tomatoes chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Grated pecorino cheese


  • Brown the crushed garlic clove in oil, remove it and add the julienne-cut onion. When it is wilted, add the crumbled bay leaf and ventricina.
  • Cook over a low flame for five minutes, add the wine and let it evaporate completely, then add the tin of plum tomatoes chopped finely.
  • Cook slowly for an hour.
  • Dress 320 g pasta with your ragu and serve with grated Pecorino cheese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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