Ragù is the sauce that just keeps giving. It smells great when you make it and taste pretty darn fabulous too. But, with the leftovers, oh man! With the leftovers the flavor only builds and just keeps giving. Ragu or meat sauce is such a kitchen-sink, one-pot majestic sauce too. It can use up whatever you need dispensing of in your meat and veggie drawer. For instance, I threw the last few slices of bacon in mine. Have mushrooms that are gonna go bad? Yep, you guessed it – chop them up and throw them in. Don’t like carrots? No worries – take them out. It’s that friendly and aromatic and wonderful. I have even been known to add the last cup-of-joe from the coffee pot. It’s true and a tasty addition.
To me that is what this sauce is all about, flavor. And to build loads of flavor in not a lot of time there are several ingredients: tomato paste, beef broth, red wine, and herbs. These flavors simmer for a short amount of time to create a huge amount of flavor. Coffee can be a quick way to add depth to both savory dishes and desserts, especially chocolate! I don’t use it here, but feel free to sub it out for the beef broth or use both!!
I served mine with Pappardelle and ribbons of zucchini, which were added to the pot for the last minute of cooking to soften; but, you can use any pasta (or bread…or nothing) that you like. I plan to make Italian Sloppy Joes with my leftover sauce tonight. Another reason in our house this sauce “keeps giving”. Love a good leftover!
Pappardelle al Ragù
- 4 slices of thick-slice bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lbs ground chuck
- 1/4 lb Italian sausage
- 1 small onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)
- 1-2 medium carrots, finely diced (1/3 – 1/2 cup)
- 1-2 celery ribs, finely diced (1/3 – 1/2 cup)
- 2-3 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup red wine, something you would drink
- 1/3 cup beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 large bay leaf
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup parmesan, plus additional for serving
- 1-2 Tablespoon fresh basil, for serving
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, for serving
- Pappardelle, cooked to package directions for serving
- 1 large zucchini, sliced thin for sering with noodles, optional
DIRECTIONS: In a large pot bring salted water to a boil, so it will be ready when you want to cook your pappardelle or other pasta (average cook time 8-10 minutes).
In a large skillet or pot, over medium-high heat, add bacon and fry for 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown around edges and release fats. Add onion, celery, thyme and carrots. Continue cooking for 4-5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften and brown in places.
Add beef and sausage; brown. At this point you can drain the grease or not… I like not, but it’s your Ragu and your veins.
Add tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, wine, minced/pressed roasted garlic, red wine, beef broth, bay leaf and dried oregano. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. I simmered mine for about 30 minutes, taste, and add salt & pepper as desired. Keep simmering or go ahead and begin cooking noodles.
Noodles: If you are serving additional zucchini ribbons with pappardelle – add them to the pasta water the last minute or two of cooking. As for the pasta – follow the package directions.
At this time I stir the parmesan and handful of fresh herbs into the sauce for a bright finish.
Serve sauce over al dente noodles. But, don’t eat it all! The flavor only gets better the next day – so feel free to double the batch!
Zoodles, Noodles, and McGrew Ragù ,