Ragu with Pasta in a Dutch Oven

ragu-in-dutch-oven

Who doesn’t love pasta?  This is a hearty meal that everyone from small children to grandparents will love.  It can be made and served in about an hour and a half or make ahead of time and leave on a slow simmer and serve when needed.  I especially like this meal on Sunday night because I can make it in the afternoon and then it is ready whenever we feel like eating.

There are many different types and qualities of Dutch Ovens.  This Le Creuset make is the top of the line and one you will be sure to be pleased with. If you haven’t tried cooking in a Dutch Oven you don’t know what you are missing.

This meal makes 6 servings.  Each serving is around 1 2/3 cups.  There are 324 calories per serving with 8 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 0 grams of trans fat.  There are 8 grams of fiber and 21 grams of protein.  So you can see, the recipe is both satisfying and healthy.


Ingredients:   

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 ounces lean ground beef
  • 6 ounces lean pork or lamb
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce)  can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground basil or 2 Tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 cups cooked pasta

Prep Work:

  1. Chop onion.
  2. Dice celery and carrot.
  3. If using fresh Parmesan cheese, grate.
  4. Mix beef and pork together.
  5. Boil pasta:  Boil it two minutes less than the time on the package.  It will continue cooking with the Ragu. Drain thoroughly and set aside until needed.   I personally like the bow-tie pasta because it has crevices for the sauce to settle in.  You can do this in the dutch oven so you have only one pan to clean up.

Cooking Procedures:

Heat oil to medium heat in Dutch Oven.

Add celery, onions, and carrots.  Continue stirring until caramelized (about 7 minutes).

Remove vegetables into a bowl.

Add meat mixture into Dutch Oven and cook until brown.  This usually takes about 10 minutes, while breaking up the meat.

Add vegetables back into pan with the tomato paste.  Stir for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, sage, basil, salt and pepper to taste, garlic, and bay leaf.  Mix well.

Add pasta and stir until coated.  Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour or until pasta is tender.

Remove bay leaf and stir one last time.

Serve in individual bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Options:

You can use any pasta you want.  Pasta that has some texture seems to hold the sauce better.

Also add ½ cup red wine when adding the tomatoes.

Use any mixture of ground meat you prefer as long as it is 12 ounces total.

A piece of crusty garlic bread is delicious with this meal, but it will change the calorie count.