For months, my fiance has been asking me to make one of his favorite italian meals: beef ragu pappardelle. Which to me, sounded absolutely foreign. Boiling some noodles and throwing some canned marinara and ground beef on top has pretty much been the extent of me cooking Italian… unless you consider microwaving Chef Boyardee Ravioli. I used to eat that almost every day after school growing up. Run off the bus just in time to catch TRL at 3:00 pm. Anyone else remember those days?? The thought of eating that shit now literally makes my stomach turn… but not Spaghettios.. I’d still eat Spaghettios!

Anyways, so when I decided I was going to make pappardelle, I couldnt find the noodles anywhere. I checked Kroger, Whole Foods, and Walmart before I gave up on my search and Amar had to once again settle for my penne pasta with meat sauce. Then a few weeks later, we stopped into a local meat market in Lansing and boom! there was spinach pappardelle noodles!

Once we purchased it and I actually knew what they looked like, I went home and googled what the heck the difference was between pappardelle noodles and lasagna noodles. I dont know maybe this is obvious to most people but pappardelle noodles are pretty much just thinner pieces of lasagna noodles. No, not pretty much.. they ARE thinner strips of lasagna. So I could have just made lasagna noodles and then them down the middle? Maybe my Italian readers or foodies can comment below and let me know if there are any other differences because I’d really love to know! One thing I do know is that you would want pasta thats any thinner than pappardelle because the sauce ends up being very thick!

So clearly this recipe is not my recipe alone since I didnt even know was beef ragu pappardelle even was, but I took several traditional recipes I found on the web and altered them to my own recipe that closer aligns with my diet, what I had in the kitchen, and our ingredient preferences in general. And of course I always want to give credit, so my adaption of beef ragu pappardelle adaption came closest to Little Spice Jar. The biggest difference is how we cooked the meat. I cooked mine on the stove top and then in the oven and she cooked hers in the slow cooker. If you’d rather use your slow cooker or crock pot, you can take my ingredients and instead of using the stove top and oven, you can use the stove top and slow cooker.

This recipe takes a long time to cook, regardless of what method you use so plan ahead!! We ended up eating dinner at almost 10:00… at least it was a Friday night or Amar would have been asleep.

GODERE (enjoy in Italian)!


Braised Beef Ragu Pappardelle

fancy pants italian dish

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • 2-2.5 lbs bonelessbeef chuck
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1.25 cups beef broth, divided
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 1-2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • pappardelle noodles
  • chopped parsley optional topping
  • parmesan cheese optional topping
  • ricotta cheese optional topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Add olive oil to a oven safe pan/pot or dutch oven. Heat on stove top on medium high. Season chuck roast with salt and pepper and brown each side, about 4-5 minutes each side. Keep stove on and remove chuck roast from pot and set aside.

  3. In the same pot, add onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic and and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

  4. Deglaze plan by adding the balsamic vinegar and red wine and stirring. While red wine is reducing, use spatula to scrape the bottom and sides to get the sticky bits and where all the flavor is. Do this for a few minutes until the red wine has reduced.

  5. Add 1/4 cup beef broth with tomato paste in a small bowl and whisk together. Add is to the pot.

  6. Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, fresh thyme, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and the rest of the beef broth to the mixture and simmer for 4 minutes.

  7. Turn off heat. Add beef back into the pot or dutch oven and cover with aluminum foil. Cook in oven for 2 hours.

  8. During the last 20 minutes, cook your pappardelle noodles according to the package. Do not over cook.

  9. Remove braised beef ragu from the oven and let cool. Shred beef with meat claws or a fork. Remove bay leaves and basil. 

  10. Pour the beef ragu over noodles and garnish with parsley, grated parmesan and serve with a side of ricotta cheese.