The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.
In this simple and weeknight-friendly beef ragu, the pasta is cooked right in the same pot with the sauce. This helps to infuse lots of flavor into the noodles and eliminates another dirty pan!
A few ingredients are key to building big flavor in a short amount of time. After browning the ground beef, vegetables and dried herbs, deglaze the pan with red wine to lift all of the flavorful browned bits from the pan. Use tomato paste, a concentrated flavor booster, to intensify the savoriness of the sauce. Beef stock is the primary cooking liquid in this recipe, so be sure to use a high quality brand. I prefer Heinen’s Organic Beef Culinary Stock because it’s dark and rich. Finally, stirring in a bit of heavy cream creates a velvety texture and keeps the pasta from sticking together while it cooks.
- 1 lb. Heinen’s organic ground beef
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
- 1 celery rib, chopped small
- ½ large onion, chopped small
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 5 Tbsp. Heinen’s Organic Tomato Paste
- 1 quart Heinen’s Organic Beef Culinary Stock
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 16 oz. uncooked pappardelle
- ⅓ fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large nonstick pot, brown the beef over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break it apart. Add the carrots, celery and onion and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, dried herbs and salt and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until it almost evaporates.
- Stir in the tomato paste, stock and water and bring to a simmer. Taste the sauce and add additional dried herbs and salt to taste. Stir in the cream, then the pasta, using a wooden spoon to submerge the pasta into the simmering liquid (break the pasta into pieces if necessary).
- Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken as it cools. Season to taste with black pepper and additional salt, if needed. Fold in parsley and serve.