Whole-Wheat Fusilli with Beef Ragu
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)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, (not drained)
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1-2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- Large pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 12 ounces whole-wheat fusilli, or rotini
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, (optional)
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)
- Cook 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.
- Heat 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.
- Add 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.
- Meanwhile, 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.
Tips & Notes
- 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.
Per serving: 318 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 23 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 17 g protein; 9 g fiber; 213 mg sodium; 418 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (60% daily value), Fiber (36% dv), Potassium (21% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 3
Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean protein
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