Slow-Cooker Tuscan Beef and White Bean Ragout
Note: From “Half Baked Harvest Cookbook,” by Tieghan Gerard.
• 2 (28-oz.) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
• 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
• 1/2 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
• 2 tbsp. tomato paste
• 3/4 c. red wine
• 2 tsp. dried basil
• 2 tsp. dried oregano
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more for garnish
• 3 to 4 lb. beef short ribs
• 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
• 1 (14-oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 lb. pappardelle or other egg pasta
• 2 tbsp. salted butter
• Handful of fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
• 1 c. basil pesto (store-bought or homemade)
• 8 oz. buffalo mozzarella or regular mozzarella, torn into pieces
Using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, dried basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir. Add the short ribs.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. When the short ribs are falling off the bone, remove them from the sauce and let cool slightly, then shred the meat, discarding the bones.
Stir the kale and white beans into the sauce. Crank the heat up to high, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more. Stir in the shredded meat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, then return to the pot and toss with the butter and fresh basil.
To serve, divide pasta among 6 plates or bowls. Top with the meat sauce and spoon some pesto over all. Add a little mozzarella. Garnish with more basil and a sprinkle of pepper.