Pappardelle with Veal Ragu

Jul 10, 14 Pappardelle with Veal Ragu

I wish I had a bowl of this right now! While looking through all the iPhone and Instagram pics of various meals I’ve served at home recently, this one is making my mouth water right now so I thought I would share. It’s a ragu, basically a very chunky pasta sauce and you can use just about any red meat and of course any shape of pasta. I happened to use veal and pappardelle. Also, you can process the meat as much or as little as you like. Personally, I prefer to keep this one chunky so you can see all the ingredients as it’s a nice change from a traditional bolognese sauce. BUT…the possibilities for improvisation are limitless.

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Veal Ragu
4 or 5 baby bella or porcini mushrooms, sauteed in butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
2/3 cup baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic, or 2-3 minced cloves
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound veal stewing meat, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes UNSALTED
2 bay leaves
1 small handful chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon fennel seeds


In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, sautee carrots, onion, parsley and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add sausage and brown, separating the meat a bit as you go. Add veal and continue browning for another 5 minutes or so. Add the wine, mushrooms and the first cup of chicken stock — note, I often freeze stock in one cup portions and it’s perfectly OK to dump the frozen stock in there and let it melt. Bring to a boil and let bubble 10 minutes or until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse 3-5 times — be VERY careful not to over process as the sauce is meant to be chunky. Return to pot and add tomatoes and spices. Bring to a simmer, breaking up any overly large tomato bits. Add as much chicken stock as you want to get a nice consistency — a cup at a time, and cook uncovered for at least one hour.

Serve over pasta with freshly shaved or grated parmigiano cheese and extra parsley for garnish.


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