I love pasta but don't allow myself to eat it very often because of the whole carb thing, but with the advent of whole grain and low carb products I am finding myself indulging more often. This dish was a TH find in one of his Wine Spectator magazines and he thought it sounded good. Since I am always encouraging input from the family when it comes to food ideas and preferences I was happy to give this one a try. I reduced the amount of broth added because it just seemed like a lot, and in fact I did need to add a beurre manié to thicken it up a bit toward the end. This one will definitely be added to the regular rotation.
Beef Ragu (adapted from Wine Spectator)
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup boiling water
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, minced
- ½ pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 pounds cross rib roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 beef marrow bones
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cups Cecchi Chianti Classico or other dry red wine
- 4 teaspoons tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- Salt to taste
- 1½ pounds penne pasta cooked according the package directions
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Remove the mushrooms from the water and coarsely chop; set aside. Strain the water through a filter or cheesecloth, and reserve.
- In a large Dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the crimini mushrooms and cook until the water is released and they are starting to brown; about 5 minutes. Add the beef and the marrow bones and continue to sauté until beef is browned, about 10 minutes.
- Wrap the rosemary, bay leaves and cloves in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine and add to the Dutch oven with the wine. Raise the heat to high, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the porcini mushrooms. Dissolve the tomato paste into the reserved mushroom liquid and then add to the Dutch oven. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the beef stock and simmer, covered, until the sauce thickens, about 1½ hours. Remove the herbs and bones.
- Mix together the butter and flour until smooth to form a beurre manié and add to the sauce. Cook for an additional 20 minutes. Taste for salt and season if needed.
- Serve over pasta with grated cheese.