Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle and Ricotta

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I feel like this is the kind of pasta of which an Italian person would approve!  Low-and-slow cooked short ribs swimming in tomato-ey wine goodness over thick pappardelle noodles.  And we’re going to USE THE PASTA COOKING WATER TO REALLY MAKE A SAUCE! But we will not overly sauce the pasta.  True Italian status over here.

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I saw this on Pinch of Yum and knew I had to make my own version.  The pictures alone were enough to make me dash to the store to get all the ingredients.  I’m so glad I did because I was literally eating spoonfuls of the sauce out of the pot when it was done…that’s how you know it’s good.  More about my affinity for doing that over on this post.

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Short ribs are one of my very favorite cuts of beef because after a long braise, they become meltingly tender but are so flavorful and juicy because they have a good bit of fat.  Don’t worry a lot of it will be removed by the cooking process, but it will impart it’s rich beefiness and keep our short ribs just fatty enough before leaving the party.

The short ribs cook in a vegetable, tomato and wine braising liquid, which will be blended down into a thick sauce.  Thin out with as much pasta water as you like to make the sauce your desired consistency.  Don’t be tempted to use another kind of pasta noodle…those thick pappardelle noodles are the perfect shape to hold on to that sauce. (Here’s a link if you can’t find them!)  A big dollop of ricotta cheese (preferably homemade!) gives you that oh-so-good creamy factor.

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Let’s book a trip to Italy now, mmmkay?!  Okay, fine…maybe another day, but we can at least make this pasta and transport ourselves for a few hours.

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Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle and Ricotta

  • Author: Amanda
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Category: Pasta, Beef, Lazy Days

Description

Melt-in-your-mouth beef short ribs served in a tomato-ey wine sauce over thick pappardelle noodles!  Top with a dollop of ricotta for the creaminess factor.


Ingredients

  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • One 28-ounce can peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed with your fingers
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 pound pappardelle pasta
  • Homemade Ricotta or high-quality store-bought ricotta
  • Freshly ground parmesan
  • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Fresh basil, torn

Instructions

  1. Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour to season.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°.  Preheat a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil; once hot, sear the short ribs on all sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add the chopped onion and carrot to the Dutch oven, season with salt and sautéfor 5 to 6 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent.  Add the garlic and sautéuntil fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, red wine, beef broth, bay leaves and fresh thyme sprigs, stirring to combine. Return the short ribs to the pot with any liquid that has accumulated on the plate.  Cover the pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, transfer the pot to the oven, leaving the lid slightly open to allow liquid to evaporate and the sauce to reduce; cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.  Remove from the oven and transfer the short ribs to a cutting board. Once cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes; skim off as much fat as you can.  Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.  Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until almost completely smooth, or to your desired consistency.  Season to taste with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  If the sauce is too thin, reduce over medium heat until thickened.  Return the shredded short ribs to the pot and keep warm over medium-low heat.
  5. Cook the pappardelle according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.  Transfer the drained pasta to the sauce, stirring to coat.  Thin out to your desired consistency with the reserved pasta water.  Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.  Serve the pasta with fresh ricotta, Parmesan, parsley and basil.

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