What I love about cooking is that it’s always there for you. Some days, you don’t need it all, opting instead to exist on takeout and your coworker’s supply of gummy bears. Other days, you use it to power through with smart meal preps and healthy work lunches.
And then there are the times when you want an elaborate pasta dish on a weeknight.
This recipe, which uses braised short rib as the accent for a luscious bowl of pasta, seems more complicated than it is. And let me start by saying that you don’t have to use short ribs, even though it’s right there in the name. You could use stew meat, which is a bit easier to cook and doesn’t take as long. Read the rest of the story here.
Don’t get spooked. I promise this recipe is not as complicated as it might seem. Allow me to walk you through it.
Short Rib Bucatini
2 to 4 whole beef short ribs
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
8 to 16 ounces bucatini pasta, or spaghetti
½ cup ricotta cheese
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Handful fresh basil, chopped, for serving
Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high to high heat. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper. Brown short ribs in oil, about 1 ½ or 2 minutes per side.
Lower the heat and add garlic. Stir to cook for a minute or two, then add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add about ½ cup chicken stock or broth and bring mixture to a low boil.
Lower to a simmer, cover pot and cook for at least 1 ½ and up to 4 hours. Make sure the ribs are nice and submerged in the sauce.
If you’re using stew meat, everything stays the same except you’ll only need to cook the meat for about an hour.
About halfway through the cooking process, add 1 cup chicken broth or stock and stir.
After 1 ½ hours, remove lid from short rib pot and continue cooking. Begin preparing the rest of the meal.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before draining pasta. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Remove short ribs from pot and remove meat from bone. (You’ll know the short ribs are ready when they are tender and falling off the bone.) Add meat to skillet and cook for about 1 minute, just to get a nice sear on the pieces of meat.
Leave short rib pot on the heat so the remaining tomato mixture continues to cook and thicken up. Scoop about ½ cup of the sauce and add to skillet with short ribs. Add ½ cup reserved pasta water and ricotta cheese. Stir gently to incorporate ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
Add two servings cooked pasta to the skillet, gently tossing to coat the pasta with the sauce mixture. Add more tomato sauce and pasta water as you see fit. If you like it really saucy, add a lot. If you don’t, you can stop here.
Divide pasta between two serving dishes, then top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil.
Serves 2 to 4.
Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times