Since I’m a decidedly average cook, Kate Wilbourn-Trevett from Foodies Agenda has volunteered to help y’all out with a winning recipe that you can take to friends whose lives have been turned upside down by parenthood. As a new Mum to gorgeous baby Isla, Kate knows what she’s talking about!
Over to you Kate to take us through Slow Cooked Beef Ragu Pasta Bake…YUUUUMMMM!
SLOW COOKED BEEF RAGU PASTA BAKE
This is the perfect dish to make for a family in need!
Despite the name of the recipe sounding like hard work, it couldn’t be more simple. Once the initial prep is done, you can leave it in the oven to do most of the work. Just an extra toss and mix through and a final burst in the oven, you’ll have a 6 portion feast.
As an even faster alternative, you could just serve the ragu straight over a bowl of freshly cooked pasta. The choice is yours.
Portions can be frozen and reheated in the oven when needed.
It’s a win win for all!
Chuck Steak – 750g, cut into large chunks
Plain Flour – for dusting
Olive Oil – 1 TB
Garlic Cloves – 2, minced
Onions – 2 small, finely chopped
Carrots – 2 medium, roughly chopped
Celery Sticks – 2, thickly sliced
Cavolo Nero or Kale – 1 cup finely sliced (optional)
Rosemary – 1 sprig
Sage – 1 sprig
Tomato Paste – 2 TB
Bay Leaves – 2
Red Wine (fruity) – 3/4 cup
Beef Stock – 500ml
Tinned Crushed Tomatoes – 800g
Water – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Balsamic Vinegar – 1 TB
Parmesan Cheese – 1/4 cup grated
Mozzarella – 1 cup grated
Breadcrumbs – 1 cup (optional)
Rigatoni – 500g
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Lightly dust the pieces of beef with flour, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy based casserole dish or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the beef, cooking for 2-3 mins each side or until browned. Remove and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrots and celery to the saucepan, cook for approx 5 mins until softened.
Add the garlic, kale, herbs and bay leaves. Cook for a further 2 mins.
Pour in the wine and cook for 1-2 mins until it’s reduced by half.
Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, stock, balsamic vinegar, water and sugar, stir through well.
Return the beef to the pan and increase the heat to bring to the boil. Once it’s reached boiling point, cover the saucepan and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 2.5 hrs or until the beef is tender and falls away easily. Using two forks or tongs, roughly shred the pieces of beef. Remove the sprigs of herbs and bay leaves and season the ragu with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Rub some olive oil around a 20cm x 35cm baking dish.
Toss the rigatoni into the pan of ragu and add half the grated mozzarella. Give it all a good mix through and tip into the baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella and breadcrumbs.
Cook in the oven for a final 15-20 mins until the cheese has melted and the breadcrumbs are golden.
Serve pasta bake with fresh rocket topped with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Bonus Tip: If you have any leftover parmesan cheese rinds in the fridge, throw this into the pot whilst it’s cooking in the oven to boost the flavour even more. Remember to remove the rind before you mix the sauce through the pasta.
Leftovers can be saved and frozen for up to 3 months.