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Braised Beef Ragu Pasta

Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

This is the definition of a stick-to-your-ribs dish. The toothsome cavatelli with the robust, tender meat sauce is filling, flavorful and so comforting. A kick of heat from spicy chiles, the crunch of pine nuts and touch of sweetness from raisins adds complexity and cuts through the richness.

Technique tip: A pressure cooker is great tool here to get dinner on the table in under an hour. This could be made a slower braise in a slow cooker or just on the stovetop.

Special equipment: Highly recommend using a pressure cooker, but it's not required.


  • 3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1- by 1-inch cubes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili crisp or Calabrian chile
  • dried chiles, to taste (make it as hot as you want)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, strained and chopped
  • 22 ounces veal or beef stock
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pound fresh cavatelli or pasta of choice
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, to serve
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, to garnish



Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Season beef with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Sear on all sides until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. To the same pan, add onion and garlic, and sweat briefly, about 5 minutes.


To the pressure cooker, add beef, chili crisp, dried chiles, red wine, tomato paste, clove, tomatoes, stock and cocoa powder. Set on high pressure for 30 minutes.


While the beef is cooking, prepare your pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.


Once beef has finished cooking, open top and add raisins and pine nuts. Cook for 5 minutes more on high pressure.


When finished, toss pasta with beef. Top with Parmesan, fresh parsley and serve.