Beef Ragù With Pappardelle

This is my beef ragù with pappardelle and it is a keeper. Hearty, comfort food that’s perfect for the dead of winter. The word “ragù” comes from the French word “ragoutier,” which means “awake your appetite“.  Ragù originated as a simple meat sauce, traditionally made with leftovers, and served as accompaniment to pasta.

There is evidence that the first ragù-style sauce may have been served as early as the 1700s, alongside macaroni. But it was not until the early 1800’s that ragù finally received some formal recognition in a cookbook by Emilia Romagna. Surprisingly, Romagna classified her ragù-style dish as more formal, and one served at feasts and other more elaborate occasions.

beef ragù with pappardelle

Nowadays, cross-culturally, ragù can mean more than just one thing. Many chefs have perfected their ragù-style adaptations of this classic sauce and you will see it served casually as well as formal.

Famous Ragù Sauces

Neapolitan Ragù: Meat sauce made of whole cubes of meat taken from different animals: beef, veal, and pork. Typically cooked slowly for several hours, until the meat becomes soft and tender.

Ragù alla Barese: A rich meat sauce made with sliced pork breast, lamb, and beef. Also cooked slowly for a long time and served with pasta.

Ragù alla Bolognese: The most well-known. A meat-based sauce in Italian cuisine, typical of the city of Bologna, used to dress tagliatelle al ragù and to prepare lasagne alla bolognese.

beef ragù with pappardelle

Pappardelle is my preferred pasta with this flavorful, hearty beef ragù. A flat pasta that is cut into broad ribbons, pappardelle has a width that falls in between tagliatelle and lasagna. The wide ribbons are very absorbent and sturdy, making it ideal for thick sauces.  The word “Pappardelle” itself comes from the Italian word “prepare”, a verb that means “to gobble up“, and that is exactly what I do when I make this dish.

You can make fresh pappardelle pasta using a variety of different types of flours. In contrast, dried pappardelle must be made with durum wheat. Durum wheat, an especially hard variety of wheat, is considered ideal for pasta because it helps the pasta hold its shape, and it will stay firm even if overcooked.

Beef ragù with pappardelle is a prep-ahead slow cooker meal ideal for busy days or cold winter nights. Hearty and flavorful, this dish will soothe your winter blues after the very first bite.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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