A delicious ground beef ragu made with red wine, beef broth and spices and then slowly simmered to let the flavors develop!

beef rags with Parmesan and a glass of red wine

Find out more about this beef ragu

This is a thick, rich sauce packed with flavor and easy to put together. Give yourself some time though because it simmers low and slow to develop that deep red wine sauce. Ragu is just like bolognese sauce except the experts say that ragu works better served with pastas such as penne or any long strand pasta such as this thick pappardelle, and bolognese is used more for lasagna. The main thing with any of these sauces is to get as much flavor into them as possible. This is done by building different layers of flavor beginning with onions and celery and then adding lots of garlic to the ground beef. Other important flavors are tomato paste, canned tomatoes and red wine.

Tips for making great beef ragu

  • Use fresh pasta if you can, I think the sauce sticks to it better than dried pasta for some reason.
  • For the ground beef, I like to use an 80/20 ratio. The sauce doesn’t need a lot of fat because of the other flavors.
  • After adding the ground beef at the beginning, don’t forget to drain the fat from the pan. Once the meat has browned, tilt the pan over the sink and scoop the excess liquid out using a large spoon. Skipping this part will make your beef ragu end up with a greasy film over the surface.
  • Use a large deep dutch oven or stockpot to cook your ragu in.
  • Save a cup of the pasta water incase your ragu needs to be thinned down a bit.

beef rags in a bowl

Best way to serve your beef ragu

Usually with any pasta dish, crusty garlic bread is a must! This time I skipped the buttery version and went with a crusty garlic bread with chunks of real roasted garlic. This makes a huge difference and is perfect for mopping up any leftover ragu sauce on your plate!

Lots of Parmesan cheese is another great addition. Just sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan over the ragu and pasta right before serving along with a sprinkle of black pepper and extra red pepper flakes if you like some heat like I do.

Reheating leftovers

Of course you could just use a microwave for quickness but I prefer to add my leftovers to a pan with a splash of beef stock and bring to a simmer over a high heat. This method only takes a few minutes and tastes much more like how the ragu would have tasted the first time you made it.

More tasty pasta recipes

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu Pappardelle

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 492kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
A delicious ground beef ragu made with red wine broth and spices and then slowly simmered to let the flavor develop!
Print Recipe


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 8 ounce pack pappardelle pasta
  • Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil


  • In a deep pot heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until softened, about three minutes.
  • Add the garlic and stir.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink making sre to break any larger pieces up as it cooks.
  • Drain as much fat from the pot as you can, don't worry if you can't get all of it.
  • Add the thyme, oregano, paprika, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, tomato paste stirring well.
  • Pour in the canned tomatoes including juice, the red wine and beef broth and stir.
  • Bring the beef ragu to a simmer and turn the heat to low.
  • Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered making sure to stir it every so often. It should just be slowly bubbling.
  • When the ragu is cooked begin cooking the pasta using the directions on the package, making sure to save some of the pasta water after it's cooked.
  • Taste the ragu and add more salt or pepper if desired and you can add some of the pasta water to loosen the ragu up if it's too thick for you.
  • Drain the pasta and place some of it onto a plate.
  • Add a large scoop of the ragu on top of the pasta and garnish with some fresh Parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
  • Serve with thick slices of garlic bread.


Serving: 12oz | Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 1456mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4mg