RAGU Rustica

This winter is like a loud argument; it just keeps storming back into the room, screaming, “AND ANOTHER THING!”. I am rather tired of it, so perhaps some comfort food, rich, hearty, beefy, with a number of vegetables thrown in to keep the medical profession from storming my door with torches and proctoscopes.

I’ll treat my components in a very rustic manner with large generous pieces; I am looking for a hearty bold flavor and texture. As this is a very bold and substantial sauce, only the boldest of noodles will survive, pappardelle tagliatelle, fettuccine, or garganelli come to mind. BIG NOODLES, BIG SAUCE, MASSIVE TASTE.

This is also a follow-on recipe to provide additional ragu as a component for later meals, perhaps as a sauce over polenta, to be wrapped in a pastry shell and presented as a pot pie, or even lengthened with beef stock and additional vegetables in the form of a stew.

The true beauty of this is the long hands-off cooking, allowing one to pursue other tasks whilst the braise continues in a low and slow fashion. (This will fit well with a scheduled study session or extended focus time.)

From Wikipedia:

In Italian cuisine, ragù (Italian: [raˈɡu]) is a meat-based sauce that is commonly served with pasta. An Italian gastronomic society, Accademia Italiana della Cucina, documented several ragù recipes. The recipes’ common characteristics are the presence of meat and the fact that all are sauces for pasta. The most typical is ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese sauce, made with minced beef). Other types are ragù alla napoletana (Neapolitan ragù, made with a variety of pork and beef meats which may include sausages), ragù alla barese (Bari ragù, sometimes made with horse meat), ragù alla veneta (ragu from Veneto, a traditionally tomatoless duck ragù).

In southern Italian regions, ragù is often prepared from substantial quantities of large, whole cuts of beef and pork, and sometimes regional sausages, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes. After a long braise (or simmer), the meats are removed and may be served as a separate course without pasta.

Pappardelle and Braised Beef Ragu

A "one-pot" wonder that will leave you satisfied, and yields many follow-ons
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Ingredient, Main Course, Sauce, Stew
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8
Calories 360 kcal


  • 1 Brasier with lid or dutch oven


  • 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 bulb Fennel Washed, cut to eights
  • 1 lb Chuck Roast
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic Peeled / Minced
  • 4 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 sprigs Sage
  • 1 ea Onion Large, Yellow, peeled, chopped
  • 2 ea Carrots Washed, Peeled, Diced
  • 2 ribs Celery Washed, Diced
  • 2 cups Red Wine Bold Flavor
  • Black Pepper Cracked / Coarse Grind
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 8 oz Pappardelle  Or tagliatelle, fettuccine, garganelli



  • Cut the chuck roast into 8th's and season well with the pepper.
  • Add oil to dutch oven over medium-high and add beef.
  • Stir for 5 minutes or until browned on all sides.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, rosemary, sage, onion, carrot, fennel, and celery.
  • Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Add wine and reduce for 15 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes and stir.
  • Place lid on dutch oven and transfer to oven for 3 hours.
  • Remove ragu from oven. Remove stems from herbs
  • OPTIONAL – Shred beef with a fork
  • Rest the ragu while you prepare the pasta


  • Bring a large pot of water ( one gallon and salty like the sea) to a boil.
  • Prepare pappardelle al dente (slightly undercooked).


  • Add 1/2 to one cup of the pasta water to the ragu and mix
  • Divide pasta between bowls, add ragu and toss to coat
  • Garnish with parmesan, fresh parsley.


A very rustic ragu, using late winter vegetables.
This will generate leftover ragu; use it to make a beef stew, a pot pie, or a biscuit bake, reheat, and serve over polenta / mashed or just a repeat with any wide noodle.
You want massive, wide hearty noodles to stand up to this bold ragu.


Calories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 17gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 243mgPotassium: 781mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 498IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Beef, Braised, Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: American, Braise, Follow On, Italian, Slow Cook, Stew, Winter

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