Ahhhh…cooler weather… The leaves are already beginning to turn just a bit, and the cool breeze from our open windows is bringing much needed fresh air into a house that’s been pretty much closed up since late spring. I love the way our lives change along with the seasons, from the clothes we wear to our daily routines to the kind of foods we crave. I’ve already begun craving hot soups and stews, one pot meals that not are not only delicious but much easier to throw together on busy weeknights. Having a big pot of ANYTHING on the stove, especially if you can just leave it simmering for hours on end, brings a wonderful comfort like few things can.
I’d been wanting to try this recipe of Giada’s since I first watched her make it on “Everyday Italian”. I’m madly in love with all things ribs, but had never conceived of enjoying them in this way. As soon as the temperature dropped in the 60’s I pulled this bad boy out of my “must try” file and set off to the store to get the goodies.
It was easy to make, especially since I used a hand blender to get the mixture liquefied, and the smell was AMAZING!! Seriously, the way this beauty made my house smell can not be understated – I could hardly wait until it was done to try it. And it was very good – a hearty, comforting meal that made for a nice transition from summer to fall. The original name of this dish is “Penne with Braised Short Ribs”, but I renamed it since to me, my name describes exactly what it tastes like – pot roast over penne. The taste actually surprised me at first since I’d expected more of a “rib” taste (although in hindsight, and reading over the recipe again, I wonder how it didn’t occur to me that it would taste similar to pot roast since it’s all the same ingredients), so I thought by renaming it, you guys would understand what you were getting into if you make it, too! I really liked the recipe, and will definitely make it again, although next time I’ll add some thick cut mushrooms and I’ll also choose not to use ribs. I think you could get just as good a flavor from a lesser – and cheaper – cut of meat and end up with the same delicious meal. Leave the ribs for the grill, but do try this recipe – especially if you’ve got cooler weather wherever you are, too!
Pot Roast Penne
- 4 pounds beef short ribs (I used baby back)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 5 Roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
- 1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the ribs to the pan. Add the beef broth, cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender and falls easily from the bone.
Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a large spoon, remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a ladle, transfer the cooking liquid in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into small pieces. Stir the shredded meat into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce and add to the pasta. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the pasta. Toss well and thin out the pasta with more sauce, if needed. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley before serving.