Monday, March 21, 2011

Hearty Beef Ragu

When I look at this picture, it reminds me of Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni. Trust me, it tastes nothing like that! Wait, is that a good thing? ;) This beef ragu was really delicious. I don’t think I cooked the veggies enough because they were still crunchy so I would suggest cooking them a bit longer. Other than that, my husband approved. He likes meat, meat and more meat. This was perfect for him to come home to one day after work. I also think this would go really well with some homemade garlic bread. Although it does take a little bit of time to simmer, I know that it is worth it.

Hearty Beef Ragu
Adapted from: Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally Williams-Sonoma
Serves: 6-8

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tsp rosemary
1 lb ground beef
2/3 cup cranberry juice (or red wine)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 ½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb pasta shapes (penne, rotini, etc)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and rosemary. Cook until veggies are softened, about 10-12 minutes. Add 1-2 Tbsp water, if needed, to keep the pan from drying out and vegetables from browning. Add the ground beef, breaking up with a wooden spatula, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add cranberry juice (or wine) and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, about 30-40 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Before the sauce is finished, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the stock pot with the sauce. Mix well to combine and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm.

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