(The ad below will not display on your printed page)
Whole-Wheat Fusilli with Beef Ragu
Mary Ellen Evans
“This chunky, full-bodied sauce is a good match for hearty whole-wheat pasta. We've augmented a little lean ground beef with mushrooms to get a rich, meaty sauce that has a minimum of saturated fat.”
8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 ounces cremini, or baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
1Cook beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a strainer or colander and drain off fat.
2Heat oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
3Add tomatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add wine, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, salt and the meat; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the flavors have developed, about 30 minutes.
4Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Pass Parmesan separately, if using.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 3. Cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
If you're only serving 2 or 3 people, toss half the sauce with 6 ounces cooked pasta; freeze the remaining sauce. If you're serving more than 6 or are just feeling industrious, you can easily double the sauce recipe
Pasta cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than overcooked pasta, and whole-wheat choices are lower than white.