Quick Beef Ragu on Pasta

, from Issue #43. June, 2016
Photography by Melanie Jenkins.
Quick Beef Ragu on Pasta

Adding Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar creates a depth of flavour in the tomato sauce that is usually only achieved with long, slow simmering; and cooking the beef separately makes this a super easy mid-week Italian meal.

Serves: 4


800 grams rump steak
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
250 grams button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 x 400 gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

To serve
250 grams dried flat pasta
Parmesan for shaving


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary. Season and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and the sugar until well combined. Sprinkle over the flour and stir constantly until the mixture thickens then simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stock, season and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Beef: Season the rump on both sides. Heat a sauté pan with a little oil over a high heat and cook the steak for 2-3 minutes each side. Cooking time will depend on the thickness but the steak should be very rare through the middle. Rest lightly covered for 5 minutes.

Pasta: Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the directions on the packet. Drain well.

To assemble: Slice the beef thinly against the grain, discarding any fat. Add to the hot sauce with any meat resting juices, then combine with the pasta.

To serve: Divide between warm bowls and top with shaved Parmesan.