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Italian Braised Beef Ragu, with Thyme and Fennel and Rigatoni Pasta- Salt Free/Salt Reduced

Classic Italian braised beef ragu with Rigatoni pasta and natural Spice notes


  • 600g x Diced chuck steak - cut into 3cm pieces - see note

  • Olive oil

  • Plain flour

  • 2 x Large brown onions, diced

  • 4 x Garlic cloves diced - see note

  • 2 x Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 3 x Bay leaves

  • 1 x Cup rich home made style chicken or beef stock

  • 1 x Cup quality red wine

  • 2 x Full teaspoons dried thyme leaves.

  • 2 x Full teaspoons dried fennel seeds

  • 2 x Full teaspoons Mediterranean oregano leaves

  • 1 x Pinch chilli flakes - or more if you choose

  • 1 x Tin Italian diced tomatoes - no added salt

  • 400 - 500g Rigatoni pasta. Weight depending on required servings

  • 1 x Cup diced parsley including the stalk tops.


lightly dust the beef pieces with the flour then in a hot pan with a little olive oil brown the meat on all sides and set aside.

In the same pan fry down the onions and garlic until soft, almost caramelised, then add the tomato paste to the base of the pan to reduce bitterness, about 3 minutes, then add the spices, chilli flakes, chicken stock and red wine and stir well. You will now have a rich flavour base. Refer note for salt reduced.

Now return the meat to the pot, add the tomatoes and stir to evenly cover the meat with the sauce. Use foil to seal the pot before adding the lid.

Place in a pre heated oven at 180c for two and half - three hours, until meat is starting to fall apart. (After one hour add a little water if sauce is drying out).

Then add the parsley, stir and lightly shred the meat using two forks to pull apart then place in a serving dish ready for the pasta.

Cook the Rigatoni in unsalted boiling water - 13 minutes and when cooked serve directly from the pot with the boiling pasta water to the beef. The water clinging to the cooked pasta will add to the flavours of the dish.

To BUY the spices in this recipe go to Spices


Important: Important. Do not drain the pasta - simply serve the cooked pasta directly on to the beef from the boiling water, bringing with it a little of the pasta water for additional flavour.

Comments: Note 1. For the salt reduced diet, add salt to your diet preference when adding the spices. Note 2. Roasted Garlic gives a more mellow flavour check RECIPES Note 3. If available, free range beef is best.