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Photography by Aran Goyoaga

“When people have to give up gluten, one of the first things they mourn is the thought of not being able to eat pasta again,” says Aran Goyoaga, food blogger and author of the newly released cookbook, Cannelle et Vanille. 

And if that person has a picky child, that thought is quickly followed by panic over what their kid will actually eat. Goyoaga’s braised beef ragù recipe happens to be the solution to both problems: It’s gluten-free if you follow her instructions for homemade tagliatelle on page 228 of her book (or buy your own at the supermarket) and it’s definitely kid-friendly—she would know. 

Goyoaga will whip this meal up for holidays, but more often than not, it’s a mainstay Sunday dinner for her family. It doesn’t take long to come together—cook the ragù a day ahead so you can spend more time with your guests day-of—and if you’re making the pasta dough from scratch, you can involve the little ones. “They love being part of that process!” says Goyoaga of her own kids. “We change it up, too: The pasta can be colored with beet juice to make it pink or squid ink to make it black. Add herbs in the spring or other natural vegetable juices to make it rainbow.” Somewhere between science experiment and hearty fall dish, we can definitely see its appeal. 

We snagged the recipe just in time for peak entertaining season. Serve it family-style on a big platter—it will be a crowd-pleaser, guaranteed. 

Braised Beef Ragù With Tagliatelle

Serves 6 to 8

The Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet
  • Fresh tagliatelle pasta
  • 3 oz freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley

The Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pat dry the beef with paper towels. Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef without crowding the pot too much—cook in two batches if necessary. Let the beef caramelize on all sides, about 7 minutes total, and transfer to a large plate.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and rosemary to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Cook the vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red wine and stir well. Return the beef to the pot and stir.
  4. Bring the stew to a simmer, cover the pot, and place it in the oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours, until the meat is falling apart. 
  5. Pick out the thyme and rosemary sprigs and discard. Shred the beef with a fork or tongs and keep warm on the stove over low heat. If you’re making the ragù the day before, simply let it cool down to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator. I put the whole pot straight into the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat it over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Fill a large stockpot with generously salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tagliatelle and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (longer if using store-bought pasta) or until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water to loosen the ragù if it seems too dry.
  7. Stir the pasta into the warm sauce so it has a chance to absorb it. Serve immediately topped with the Parmigiano Reggiano and parsley.

©2019 by Aran Goyoaga. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Cannelle et Vanille by permission of Sasquatch Books.

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