Rotini with Beefy Kale Ragù
Beef,  Entrées,  Gluten Free,  Recipes

Rotini with Beefy Kale Ragù

This pasta sauce recipe is a great way to use up vegetables that are hanging out in your fridge that’s very flexible. Total comfort food!

Rotini with Kale Ragù

I had half a pound of ground beef leftover from when I made Hoisin Cocktail Meatballs last weekend. I figured I might as well make a pasta sauce with that and some of the other veggies I had hanging out in the fridge. This combination turned out really well! I wilted a few big handfuls of chopped kale into the other veggies before adding the tomatoes, and it was great.

I waited until after Dino tried it and said it was really good to mention that I may have done something totally un-Italian – I used Worcestershire sauce. It really added a nice depth of flavor that worked nicely with the other flavors here. I served this over some whole grain rotini, but any type of pasta would be fine. Freshly grated Parmesan melts down on top for the perfect finale.

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Rotini with Beefy Kale Ragù

Rotini with Beefy Kale Ragù

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


This pasta sauce recipe is a great way to use up vegetables that are hanging out in your fridge that’s very flexible. Total comfort food!


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 big handfuls chopped kale (about 2 cups)
  • 28 ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 14 ounces water
  • 1 pound cooked rotini or other pasta*
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over moderate heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking the meat into smaller pieces with a spoon or spatula, until almost cooked through. Drain fat if necessary and add onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the veggies are starting to soften. Add Worcestershire and Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Add kale and stir until it wilts down into the veggies.
  2. Add the tomatoes and break them into pieces with your spoon or spatula. Pour water into the tomato can until it comes up about halfway and pour that into the skillet – this way you get the residual tomato juice from the sides of the can while adding water.
  3. Bring the sauce up to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let it simmer while you cook your pasta. Once the ragú reaches your desired consistency, remove from heat. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  4. Serve ragú on top of cooked pasta. Garnish with a healthy dose of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


*Optional: use Gluten Free

Keywords: pasta with meat sauce, meat and vegetables, clean out the fridge

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


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