September 22, 2014

Slow-cooker Brisket Ragu with Barilla Pasta

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Just in time for fall and the NYC Wine and Food Festival: a fall-apart tender, red wine-enhanced brisket ragu (with a mystery spice), Barilla® cellentani (corkscrew) pasta, and a chance to win tickets to the NYC Wine and Food Festival!

Click here for details on the Barilla® “Wine & Food Festival” Sweepstakes. The grand prize includes one night hotel accommodations in NYC and two tickets to attend the Grand Tasting event presented by ShopRite® on 10/18/14. Hurry – entry deadline is 9/27/14.

Back to the brisket ragu – which can be made in a slow cooker or in a Dutch oven. It’s just as good, if not better, the next day or the next. A sprinkle of Italian parsley gives the dish a fresh taste and makes it more food-festival fancy, but if your kids fear the green stuff just top it with a bit more grated parmesan.

Sue Barilla brisket ragu

Good luck, and buon appetito!


Makes 8 servings; good for leftovers

  • Approx. 2.5 lbs brisket (1/2 of a whole brisket)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh, ideally)
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup Barilla® marinara sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup grated parmesan or romano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley for garnish (optional)
  • 16 oz. Barilla cellentani, rotini or rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions for al dente

Trim most of fat cap from brisket and cut into 2” (approx. ) cubes. Season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper.

Sue Barilla trimSue Barilla cubes

In a large Dutch oven or stove-top-safe slow-cooker pot over medium-high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and add brisket cubes in two batches (to ensure proper browning). Brown 2 sides of the meat before setting aside and repeating with the second batch.

Sue Barilla browning

After 2 sides of second batch have been browned, add onion and cook for 2 minutes until onions have softened. Add 2 cloves minced garlic. Transfer mixture and remaining meat cubes to slow-cooker pot (if not in already).

Sue Barilla onions

Then add bay leaf (if fresh, give it a twist to release the oils), one whole cinnamon stick (or a small 1/8 teaspoon pinch of ground), and ½ teaspoon oregano.

Sue Barilla seasoning

Add 1 cup Barilla® marinara sauce, 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon sugar.  Stir in 1 cup red wine.

Sue Barilla marinaraSue Barilla tomatoes

Sue Barilla red wine

Slow-cooker: Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Dutch oven: Cover and cook in a 325F oven for 2-3 hours, or until meat can be flaked with a fork or wooden spoon.

Sue Barilla ragu done

Add parmesan (or romano) cheese  and cooked pasta. Serve with additional parmesan and chopped parsley, if using.

Sue Barilla cheese

Sue Barilla pasta

Sue Barilla with pasta

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  As a POTLUCK blogger, I received Barilla products for free.

Recipe and photos by Susan Walter of Subee’s Kitchen.