Saturday, January 19, 2013

Now on to the making...

So-- after threatening to make John eat entree salads every night until we both lose five pounds (the holidays are to thank!) -- I decided to treat him to a decent dinner on Wednesday night. (By decent, I mean satisfying. You can really only eat so many niçoise salads before they get a little dull...) I picked up these gorgeous little mushrooms from our local fancy-pants grocer, and knew I wanted to make something nice with them. I also had an enormous amount of pappardelle in our freezer, so I wanted to make something that would hold up well against such a hearty pasta. I tracked down a recipe for a beef-and-mushroom ragu, and it came together deliciously! I did tweak the recipe a bit as it cooked, so take note of my changes in red below.

Pappardelle With Beef and Mushroom Ragù

Serves 6


  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 1/2   pounds  beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • large onion, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1  tablespoon  tomato paste
  • 1  cup chicken broth
  • 1  cup beef broth
  • 1  cup red wine
  • 1  28-ounce  can crushed tomatoes
  • 1  pound  assorted mushrooms (such as button, cremini, and shiitake), sliced
  • 12  ounces  pappardelle or fettuccine
  • 1/2  cup  grated Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more for serving


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the beef with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 1 minute more.
  3. Return the beef to the saucepan and add the broth, wine, and tomatoes. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the beef is fork-tender, 60 to 75 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the saucepan and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes more. If the sauce is too thin, simmer, uncovered, until thickened to the desired consistency.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot. Add the beef ragù and Parmesan and toss. Serve with additional Parmesan.

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