Classic Beef Ragu Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
I suggest making lots. Beef Ragu freezes well or try the left-overs next day on a hearty ciabatta bun! Made with economical stewing beef. Can also be made in a slow-cooker.
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  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 28 oz plum tomatoes good quality
  • 1/3 cup onions diced
  • 1/3 cup carrots diced, about 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • leaves Fresh basil (about 6 or 1/2 tsp. dried basil)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chili peppers
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Small sheets of lasagna noodles, pappardelle or tagliatelle pasta


  • In a large, heavy bottomed pot (Dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat in small batches (don't crowd the paand remove to a bowl and set aside.
  • In the same pot, adding a bit more oil, if necessary, cook onion and carrots, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add tomato paste and stir in. Add the wine and stirring, cook until wine has reduced by half. Add tomatoes with juices (breaking up a bit), beef broth, butter, spices, a bit of salt and pepper and the bay leaf. Return the reserved meat and any juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring once or twice.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the ragu to break up the beef into shreds. Add the vinegar (or lemon juicand simmer uncovered for additional 30 min. to thicken. (You can spoon off some of the fat, if you like or just serve with a slotted spoon to leave it behind when you serve).
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and using tongs, place pasta in a loose pile (ie: not flat - scrunch it uin a flat bowl.
  • Taste ragu and adjust seasoning to your taste. Spoon sauce over noodles and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 976mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3735IU | Vitamin C: 31.5mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3.4mg