Tagliatelle with beef and mushroom ragu

Tagliatelle with beef and mushroom ragu


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About this recipe: Egg tagliatelle tossed in a rich beef and mushroom ragu. This is a typical Sunday lunch in Southern Italy. Long, slow cooking is essential. In fact some grandmas used to cook the sauce for an entire night!


Serves: 6 

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 500g beef stewing steak, cubed
  • salt, to taste
  • 120ml white wine
  • 500ml passata
  • 300ml beef stock, or as needed
  • 300g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 400g egg tagliatelle
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr20min 

  1. In a small frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil for 10 minutes, or until soft but not browned. (Add 1 tablespoon of water if needed to prevent browning.) Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan or casserole on high heat, brown the beef in remaining olive oil for 7 to 10 minutes. Make sure it is browned on all sides, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Season with salt.
  3. Pour in the wine, stir and let simmer until the alcohol evaporates. Reduce heat to medium and add half of the onions, cook few minutes, then also the tomato passata.
  4. Stir, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer gently on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Check and stir from time to time. If it gets too dry or the meat stick to the bottom, add some beef stock.
  5. Add the mushrooms to the pan with remaining onions. Cook gently for 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook for a few minutes longer. Season with salt to taste, remove from heat and add parsley.
  6. Once ready, remove the beef from the pan with 2 to 3 ladlefuls of sauce and set aside. Keep warm.
  7. Cook the tagliatelle in boiling salted water until very "al dente" (watch out: it cooks fast!). Reserve some of the cooking water, then drain and transfer the pasta to the saucepan. Toss with the sauce and finish cooking for 1 or 2 minutes over medium heat, adding a bit of pasta water if the mixture becomes too dry.
  8. Divide the pasta between serving plates and serve with some grated Parmesan. Serve the beef as second course, on the same plate used for the tagliatelle.


In order to brown the meat, you will need the heat to be high. This could burn the onions and give them a bitter flavor; that's why I decided to cook them separately.

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