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Ribs are slow cooked in a tomato sauce and served over pasta.

Pasta and Rustic Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce with Meat

I have a confession to make – I have already made all 4 recipes from this month’s Cookbook of the Month – The New Best Recipe. In fact, I had all 4 things made as of last Sunday – the 6th of January. I think I’m on a kick here – or else I am just in love with this cookbook!!

Another confession – when it comes to pasta sauces, I’m usually the easiest-and-fastest-way-possible kind of girl. I admire those people who simmer their homemade sauces for hours, but the majority of my sauces come from a jar. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it to do something different than I am used to.

This isn’t a super long cooking sauce – it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours on the stove – and it was actually extremely easy. And the smell of the sauce cooking through the house was amazing.

For the meat in this recipe, it calls for 1 1/2 pounds of beef short ribs or pork spareribs or country style ribs. I had decided to half the recipe, even though the original only serves 4, and I’m really glad I did because we still easily got 4 servings out of this. When I was at the grocery store looking at ribs, I originally wanted to go with pork, but the packages they came in were huge. I didn’t want to have to freeze the remainder because my tiny freezer is already feeling overburdened. They had a 1 pound package of beef ribs, so I went with that. I ended up using the whole pound of ribs for the half recipe, and I’m glad I did – there was the perfect amount of meat in the final dish.

This turned out delicious. I would definitely make this again on a day I have a few hours to let the sauce and the meat cook. The only complaint I had with it is that it did turn out a little bit greasy. I did try to cut all of the visible fat off of the ribs before starting and I drained the fat, but the end result still had a bit of a greasy feel to it. I would like to try this with pork and see if that helps with the greasiness.

Stay tuned for more features from this book. I have another main dish coming from it, as well as a delicious dessert!!

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Pasta and Rustic Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce with Meat
Prep time
Total time
Ribs are slow cooked in a tomato sauce and served over pasta.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound beef short ribs or pork spareribs or country-style ribs, trimmed of fat
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ pound pasta – this works best with a tubular pasta
  • freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. Season the ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Once oil is shimmering, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove ribs to a plate and discard all but 1 teaspoon of the fat from the skillet.
  2. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer. Make sure to scrape off all of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer until the wine reduces to a glaze, about 2 minutes.
  3. Return the ribs to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated. Turn the heat to low and add the tomatoes. Cover and let the sauce simmer, turning the ribs often during cooking. Cook until the meat is tender and falling off the bone – about 1½ hours for pork ribs and 2 hours for beef ribs.
  4. Transfer the ribs to a clean plate. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Discard the fat and the bones. Add the meat back to the sauce. Simmer the sauce over medium heat until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and remove to a separate bowl. Toss pasta with sauce. Serve immediately, passing the cheese on the side to top the pasta with.
adapted from The New Best Recipe

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25 Responses to Pasta and Rustic Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce with Meat {Cookbook of the Month Recipe}

  1. Katerina says:

    I just recently made shortribs for the first time too. To cut the grease try pouring the liquid into a narrowcontainer, let it rest then spoonthe fat off the top

  2. Maryann says:

    Sounds and looks great, Deb 🙂

  3. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Honestly, I think the reason why I make long simmering sauces is because I love the way it makes the house smell. I like to go out of the house and come in again just so I can get that “first whiff” smell over and over!

  4. Miss Scarlett says:

    Oh my goodness this looks amazing. I have no experience with ribs of any kind though.

  5. Gigi says:

    The sauce sounds divine! mmm, crusty bread and a nice wine …perfect dinner.

  6. Katy says:

    that looks just awesome. i just made a turkey tomato sauce that i’m going to post about soon, but this looks just wonderful. good think i am going to an itialian restaurant for dinner — i am definitely craving pasta now! 🙂

  7. Nora B. says:

    Hi Deborah,
    That slow cooked shortribs sounds so delicious! And this cookbook sounds great, so I look forward to seeing more recipes from it.

    I made a similar sort of sauce, but I used a casserole dish and stuck it in the oven. Each time I take it out of the oven to stir, I skim off as much of the oil as I could, give it a stir and put it back in the oven. The end result was less greasy dish. I find it harder to skim off the fat on the stive because the sauce is so chuncky.


  8. Judy says:

    This looks so good. I’ve been craving hearty pasta with meat sauce for a while now, it’s about time I give in!

  9. Emiline says:

    I’ve never worked with ribs, at all. I’m going to definitely try to, this year.

    This sounds good, very rustic- Italian farmhouse.

    I’m not sure how you get rid of the greasiness. I guess, like you said, switching the meat around.

  10. glamah16 says:

    A sauce with slow cooked beef ribs sounds so good. I love to slow cook.

  11. Shandy says:

    Deborah, Hi and thank you for all the wonderful comments on my blog! You are such an inspiration to my cooking. I have a confession to make and I just figured it out tonight. . .I own the BEST recipes cookbook. I collect cookbooks and pride myself on trying at least one recipe out of each one, Uhmm. . .I have over 600. . .and I have been collecting since I was about 18, and this one slipped through the cracks. Thanks to you, I have now tried a recipe from this wonderful cookbook. I definitely have to try more. . .including the Pasta and Rustic Slow-Simmered Tomato Sauce. . .YUM! =D

  12. Mary says:

    1 1/2 to 2 hours is a quick cook sauce? Wow! It looks unbelievable though. I’m an open the jar type girl myself.
    This looks like a really good cookbook.

  13. sher says:

    That looks so good, I can practically smell that great tomato sauce aroma, while looking at your picture. :):). I really admire how you’re making so many of the recipes.

  14. Brilynn says:

    This cookbook is already on my wish list and this just solidifies its spot there!

  15. Kevin says:

    This pasta with short ribs looks really good. My freezer is full as well and I have had to make some decisions about meal plans based on that. I must remember to empty the freezer rather than fill it…

  16. Jenn says:

    I’m usually not patient enough to simmer tomato sauces for too long… but this recipe seems reasonable enough! Can’t wait for the new recipes you make from this book!

  17. Shandy says:

    Hi Deborah, you changed your picture and what a cool idea! =) I so miss a large vegetable garden but I don’t miss having so many veggies that you *have* to figure out what to do with them all at once. I remember a little to well the overload of tomatoes and zuchinni. If you make the Almost Apple Pie a la Mode, you can cut the recipe down to how ever many servings you would like to make. Thank you for the comments Deborah, you always bring a smile and make my morning =D.

  18. Annemarie says:

    We just did a nice slow cooked meat sauce with our first batch of home-made pasta. The two together were fabulous!

  19. Ellie says:

    What an absolutely stellar looking dish! I’m sorry to hear that it was greasier than expected, but Katerina’s suggestion is a good one, and what we do at my place when we’re cooking short ribs 🙂 if you refrigerate them, it also makes the fat very easy to remove!

    Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

  20. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the slow cooking. I love it. Especially when you don’t really have to cook to much, just allow time to pass and all the flavours to brew. Looks delicious Deb.

  21. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the slow cooking. I love it. Especially when you don’t really have to cook to much, just allow time to pass and all the flavours to brew. Looks delicious Deb.

  22. SteamyKitchen says:

    How about a slow cooker?

  23. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Deb, Joao is gonna love this!

  24. Happy cook says:

    Wow just delicious.
    I would love to have them 🙂

  25. Bridget says:

    Isn’t that a fantastic cookbook? It seriously changed the way I cook. I’ve made this particular recipe, but if I recall, I screwed it up somehow and it didn’t seem nearly as tasty as yours looks!

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