Orecchiette al Ragu

This pasta dish has a creamy richness with very little fat and serves four generous portions using only half a pound of ground beef. In less than an hour, a hearty meal is on the table. Serve with a simple arugula salad and bruschette. For dessert, Ricotta al Caffe would be a smooth sweet ending.




  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 Rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Pound ground beef, lean
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon oregano
  • Black pepper, several grinds
  • 1/3 cup Tomato paste
  • 1-2/3 Cup milk (whole or low fat)
  • 12 Ounces Orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 Cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  1. Using a large skillet, over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrot and celery and 1/3 cup of water. Cook until the vegetables are tender and water has evaporated.
  2. Stir in the ground beef, cook until no longer pink. Add wine, cook until liquid has evaporated.
  3. Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and stir. Mix in the tomato paste and add 2/3 cup of the milk. Reduce heat to simmer, cook, stirring frequently, until the milk has been absorbed. Continue to cook until the sauce is thick and creamy, gradually, add the remaining 1 cup of milk until all has been absorbed (about 15-20 minutes).
  4. Cook pasta, drain well. Transfer pasta to large bowl, add parsley and cheese, toss to combine.
  5. To serve, spoon into 4 pasta bowls.




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