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Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragù Pasta. Turning a classic cozy fall/winter recipe into an easy slow cooker pasta using hearty beef short ribs, red wine, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and pappardelle pasta…finished off with fresh burrata cheese! This slow-cooked Sunday dinner is a hearty and delicious meal to come home to at the end of a busy day. And the best part? It’s an easy dinner to prepare that everyone loves. You simply can’t go wrong with a dinner like this red wine Sunday Ragù. Bonus? You can also make this in the Instant Pot or slow braise in the oven.

overhead photo of Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragu Pasta

A Sunday night recipe…that’s equally great any day of the week. I just love the sound of a slow-cooked “Sunday Sauce” – don’t you?

You do, you do! And speaking of Sunday, I hope you all had a very lovely fall weekend (using the word lovely today because I use the words great and amazing way too much). Hoping it was also much warmer than mine. While Saturday was sunny, it was COLD, and then it snowed all day today. So, all in all, it was a bit of a chilly weekend.

I spent most of the weekend getting ready for the launch of HBH Super Simple. I did a lot of online shopping. And plenty of chit-chatting back and forth with you all via Instagram (my favorite thing to do!).

I can’t say that I’m well-rested, but I’m ready for the week ahead. And so ready to share one of my favorite recipes, this Sunday Ragù Sauce! Some of you may recall my original Sunday Sauce recipe. I shared it more than a few years back. It’s still a staple recipe for me…and for many of you as well (it’s a pretty popular recipe).

Today’s recipe is the updated version. It’s similar…ish, but also so different. Today’s ragù is a bit more classic. It has a richer deeper flavor, less spice, and most importantly, it’s made with red wine…and served with burrata.

Every twirl of pasta is so good.

short ribs being seared on the stove in skillet

Here are the details.

Making this Sunday ragù is EASY. You can do it in the slow cooker, the instant pot, or even slow braise the sauce in the oven. My preferred method is the slow cooker, but any of the three options are GOOD.

First up, I do recommend searing your short ribs before slow cooking. Yes, I know what a messy pain this is, but I also know that the additional flavor and texture that comes from searing the ribs adds so much to a dish like this. If you don’t have time, I get it, but please try to find it. Searing the ribs adds so much flavor to this ragù.

In addition to the ribs, there’s also bacon. The bacon adds a richness to this sauce, making it much closer to a true Italian style ragù.

Also, if you have a fancy slow cooker that has the ability to sear meats, that’s awesome. You should definitely use that function! I have my eye on this all in one browning slow cooker from All-Clad.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragu sauce in slow cooker

Once the ribs and bacon are set, the rest is simple as can be. Everything gets stirred together in the slow cooker then cooked low and slow all day long.

Nothing is better than the smells that will soon be coming from your kitchen. Like nothing. That’s why this ragù is so perfect for Sunday. You can throw it together in the morning, go off and do your Sunday thing. and come home to a house that smells like grandmas, with a hearty warming dinner just waiting to be served.

By the time the ragù has finished cooking, the ribs should be falling off the bone. Just remove and discard the ribs, shred the meat, and toss with the sauce. Add a little butter and grated parmesan cheese. Trust me here, you need these two ingredients to complete your sauce.

The butter makes the sauce smooth, while the parmesan adds flavors.

overhead photo of pasta

The final thing you need to do?

Pasta. My favorite cut of pasta for this style ragù is a wider cut pappardelle pasta, but tagliatelle is an equally great option. If you have a hard time finding either one simply use whatever cut of pasta your family enjoys.

Boil-off the pasta, toss with butter, and then toss with the sauce.

And that’s it – you’re ready to serve. Just be sure to add the burrata cheese and a little additional parmesan.

Oh, and a couple of chunks of rustic bread for mopping up all that sauce. DELICIOUS.

And one more thing…maybe add a glass of your favorite red wine too.

side angled photo of Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragu Pasta with fork in bowl

Do you have to wait until Sunday to make this?

Of course not! You can make this tonight or any night of the week…

But here’s my tip. Make this on Sunday for Sunday night dinner. This recipe feeds eight, so chances are you’ll have leftovers. And those leftovers…they are amazing. Probably better than the “fresh” sauce because the longer the sauce sits, the more time the flavors have to develop.

overhead photo of Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragu Pasta with fork in pasta

Obviously, you can use the ragù to served over pasta. But you can also serve it over creamy mashed potatoes, or even buttery polenta. All would be such great options, and very easy weekday meals since the sauce is already made. So you see what we did here? We just Sunday meal prepped…and it was so EASY.

Ok, and finally, this is also a great recipe for the upcoming holiday craze. Serve this to family, serve this up at your next dinner party, or even plan to serve this over Christmas. Again, you can’t go wrong. This is the EVERYTHING ragù you need in your back pocket for busy times, dinner parties, and holiday entertaining.

overhead photo of Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragu Pasta half eaten with fork in bowl

If you make this slow cooker red wine Sunday Ragù pasta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Slow Cooker Red Wine Sunday Ragù Pasta.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 360 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 4-5 pounds bone in beef, short ribs
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, such as Sangiovese
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely crushed or chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage, or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more or less to taste
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, save the rind
  • 1 pound dry pappardelle or tagliatelle pasta
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature, for serving

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  • 1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the short ribs and sear on both sides. Remove the ribs and transfer to the slow cooker along with the bacon. 
    2. To the slow cooker, add the parmesan rind, wine, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, 4 tablespoons butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
    3. Once done cooking, remove the short ribs, let cool slightly, then shred the meat and discard the bones, parmesan rind, and thyme.. Add the shredded meat and parmesan, toss with the sauce. Keep on warm.
    4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and toss the pasta with 4 tablespoons butter.
    6. Divide the pasta between plates, add the ragù, and toss well. Top each serving with burrata and additional parmesan.

Instant Pot

  • 1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the short ribs to the skillet and sear on both sides. Remove the ribs and transfer to the instant pot along with the bacon.
    2. To the instant pot, add the parmesan rind, wine, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, 4 tablespoons butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.
    3. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function. Remove the short ribs, let cool slightly, then shred the meat and discard the bones.
    4. Meanwhile, set the Instant pot to sauté. Bring to a boil, boil 5-10 minutes or until the liquid reduces just slightly. Turn the instant pot off. Remove the thyme and parmesan rind and discard. Add the shredded meat and parmesan, toss with the sauce. Keep on warm.
    5. Finish as directed above for the slow cooker.

Stove-Top

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Cook the bacon in a large oven-safe braiser or cocotte over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the short ribs and sear on both sides. Add the bacon back.
    2. To the pot, add the parmesan rind, wine, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, 4 tablespoons butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.
    3. Once done cooking, remove the short ribs, let cool slightly, then shred the meat and discard the bones, thyme, and parmesan rind. Add the shredded meat and parmesan, toss with the sauce.
    4. Finish as directed above for the slow cooker.

Notes

Wine Replacement: I recommend an equal amount of pomegranate or cranberry juice. If you don't have that on hand, use additional beef broth.
Searing the Short Ribs: if short on time, you can skip this step, but it does add great flavor. Also, if you have a fancy slow cooker that can also sear meats, that's amazing, and you should use that function! I have my eye on this all in one browning slow cooker from All-Clad. 
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Comments

  1. A true Italian Ragu does not use as much sauce as indicated in this recipe. It was soupy and uninteresting. I should’ve known better.

    1. Hi Victoria,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. This is not a “true Italian ragu”, just my take on the dish:) Please let me know if there is any way that I can help! xTieghan

    1. Hi Ana,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try. So sorry, that is not something that I have available at this time. Have the best week:)) xT

  2. I tried this in my Instant Pot and unfortunately it didn’t turn out as intended. But I think it has more to do with the Instant pot…the flavor was absolutely there, but the short ribs were NOT tender by the end of the 40 minutes (they could not be easily shredded with a fork). I would make this again but try the stove top or slow cooker route.

    1. Hey Francesca,
      So sorry to hear this!! Thanks for giving the recipe a try, let me know if you try it again with the slow cooker! xTieghan

    1. Hey Vanessa,
      I don’t know if that would be your best option, I would probably use beef chuck in place of the short ribs. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Hi! So excited to make this dinner…I was wondering what cheese I could use as a replacement for the burrata? I live in a very small town and have been to 3 stores and can’t find it! 😩

    1. Hey Allyson,
      Fresh mozzarella is a great option in place of the burrata. Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope it turns out amazing for you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Claudia,
      Fantastic! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy New Year!🎆 xxT

  4. Happy New Year! I’m making this recipe right now and can’t wait for it to be ready! I cut the recipe in half and added 4TBSP of butter the crockpot. As I’m reading on I realize you use 4T for the pasta too. Is the butter supposed to be divided in the original recipe? Basically I should have used 2 for the crockpot and 2 for the pasta? Either way too much butter can’t hurt but I appreciate your help!

    1. Hey Meredith,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try! So the recipe calls for 8 tablespoons of butter, 4 in the sauce and 4 in the pasta. I hope this helps for next time! xT

  5. 5 stars
    Making this again! It’s delicious, easy, and a favorite of my family! Thank you for all your great recipes! Found the wine at Whole Foods, excited to try it again with the recommended wine!