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Slow-Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

An irresistible sauce gives this beef another dimension of flavor. Nearly any starchy side, such as potatoes or polenta, will work in place of the pasta. Short ribs are my crowd-pleaser weekend meal for all occasions. —Missy Raho, Morristown, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 7 hrs.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound pappardelle
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved, optional


  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown meat in batches. Transfer meat to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Add mushrooms, onion, carrots and bay leaves.
  • In the same skillet, add tomato paste, wine, garlic and seasonings. Cook and stir over medium heat until fragrant and slightly darkened, 2-4 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes until blended. Transfer mixture to slow cooker; cover. Cook on low until beef is tender, 7-9 hours. Discard bay leaves.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Serve ragu over pasta. If desired, serve with Parmesan cheese.

Test Kitchen tip
  • Pappardelle are wide, flat noodles, perfect for hearty sauces. Fettuccine or tagliatelle may be substituted.
  • Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup ragu over 3/4 cup pasta: 302 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 328mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Adele
      Jul 2, 2020

      12 ounces of tomato paste? I don't think so. I haven't made this yet, but I've made similar recipes. Also, I've been cooking for 40 years. I have never used that much tomato paste in one recipe. Also, when I make tomato sauce, I always add a good tablespoon of sugar to reduce the acidity. Further, I would sauté the mushrooms before putting them in the crockpot. A good base recipe, but it needs a few changes. I also agree with other reviewers who think that a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes is too much for a recipe like this.

    • amygattuso
      Apr 25, 2020

      Good flavor, I prefer a more typical meat sauce by not bad.

    • LoriDL
      Sep 25, 2019

      I cannot rate as I haven't tried it yet. I'm concerned about the multiple reviews stating it was horribly acidic but TOH is a top notch publication. Hard to believe the test kitchen could botch this so badly. Do you suppose they ever read these reviews? Anyway, I'm thinking that since tomato paste is sold in 6oz cans this may be the problem. So I'm going to give it a go sometime soon and will update with a true review.

    • Jessica
      Sep 22, 2019

      I couldn't find boneless beef short ribs where I shop, so I bought a chuck roast and cut it into cubes. I braised them on each side per the recipe and followed everything else as written. BIG MISTAKE. I had it going in the crock pot for a few hours when I decided to read the reviews on this recipe. I immediately panicked and tasted my sauce, AWFUL. It about bit my tongue. I knew I could not serve this dish without trying to save it. I googled how to reduce acidity by a duding baking soda. I also added quite a bit of sugar. We did end up eating it after I desperately tried to fix it, but my husband said he would never eat it a second time. Neither would I. The only part that worked out was the tenderness of the meat, but after it sat in that nasty sauce for so long it just completely took on the horrible flavor.

    • S
      Aug 7, 2019

      This recipe is terrible! Way too much tomato paste. It tastes overly acidic and concentrated. Go for diced tomatoes and a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. I also threw away a batch.

    • Beth
      Jul 29, 2019

      Delicious and tender! I omitted the crushed red pepper but only because we don't care for "hot" spices. I doubled the recipe and cooked it on low for 9 hours.

    • Jeffrey
      Jul 27, 2019

      Maybe it was the ingredients but I threw it in the trash. The only change I made was to reduce the crushed red pepper from 1 tsp to ½ teaspoon. I used Contadina Brand tomato paste and diced tomatoes and it was way too acidic for me and my wife to eat. 12 oz of tomato paste seemed like a lot. What a waste of short ribs.

    • chamie7
      Apr 23, 2019

      A tad too hot.

    • tennis-twin
      Apr 14, 2019

      This was very good - although I will cut back on the crushed red pepper - it was a little too hot for us!!