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.
Rotini with Beefy Kale Ragù
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
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.
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.
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.
Serve ragú on top of cooked pasta. Garnish with a healthy dose of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
*Optional: use Gluten Free
Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars