Oxtail on the bone is stewed to tender perfection in this traditional Sicilian dish shared by the Cerrone family. Tomatoes, peas and flat-leaf parsley complement the moist meat and bring aromas reminiscent of a sun-drenched Italian summer.






Skill level

Average: 3 (2 votes)


  • 500 g penne
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley and grated parmesan, to serve


Oxtail and fresh pea ragù

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 kg oxtail (see Note)
  • 2 x 700 ml jars passata (sieved puréed tomatoes)
  • 500 g podded or 1 kg unpodded fresh peas (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match 2007 Cantina Tollo Aldiano Montepulciano ($30). 

To make ragù, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for 4 minutes or until softened. Add oxtail and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Stir in passata and 250 ml (1 cup) water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2½ hours. Add peas and cook for a further 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook pasta until al dente. Add 60ml (¼ cup) pasta water to ragù. Drain pasta, return to pan and stir in ragù. Scatter over parsley and parmesan to serve.


• Oxtail is available whole from butchers and in pieces from selected supermarkets. Ask your butcher to chop them for you. Lamb neck would also make a delicious substitute.
• You can substitute frozen peas for the fresh.



Photography by Alan Benson.


As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.