Rich Ragù

Ragù is definitely a wintertime treat. However, I will openly admit that I make this throughout the year because it's just that delicious. Ragù is one of those rich dishes that tastes utterly indulgent but in reality, it's easy on the nutrition spectrum. Let's be real, though. Everything we eat could be deemed unhealthy if we didn't abide by an unspoken sentiment - everything in moderation. Or at least, this is how I view my love affair with food.

Another crockpot wonder, my beef ragù comes in at around $18.00. Your beef will be the most "expensive" ingredient for the dish. Essentially, with a few pantry staples, onions and garlic, you can have a beautiful meal on the table in which your friends or family will assume broke the bank! Nope, no way. The ragù yields 6-8 servings.

Here's what you'll need:

3lbs (give or take) chuck roast

1 small onion chopped

4 cloves garlic chopped

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1 14oz can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 bay leaves

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Splash of red wine

Splash of water

Salt + pepper

I served my ragu over zucchini noodles but this is interchangeable. We'll talk more about variations at the end of the recipe.

1) Begin by getting that onion and garlic chopped up!

2) Season your chuck roast liberally with salt and pepper, then sear over medium-high eat with a little olive oil. You'll want a nice brown crust on both sides of the roast. This step is optional but the flavor is hard to beat.

3) When your roast is nice and brown, place into the bottom of your crockpot and throw in your onions and garlic.

4) Next, add your tomato products.

5) Red wine really adds a next level layer of flavor to the ragù, so if you have some on hand, go ahead and add in a splash. You'll also want to add a splash (maybe 1/4 cup) of water just to cut the tomato a smidgen.

6) It's spice-thirty! Sprinkle in your seasonings now.

7) Mix all the things together, set your crockpot to low and cook for 8-10 hours.

8) Okay, YUM. Now, after the roast is fully cooked, take two forks and pull the meat apart while in the sauce. This will be your finishing step of the ragu. Check for seasonings.

Here's where things vary...

As I mentioned above, I served my ragù over zucchini noodles for a lighter dinner option. Keep scrolling down for how I created my own "zoodles." The ragù is totally drool-worthy over Pappardelle pasta - it's my favorite way to serve the meal! You can also opt for grits or even cheesy polenta which is literally Italy's version of grits. Heavenly.

1) If you're choosing zucchini as the bed for your ragù, wash the vegetable thoroughly and carefully put through a spiralizer. I found mine at my local grocery store for like $6.00, but here is a great option from Amazon for only $8.99! It's an awesome tool to add into your kitchen.

2) We spiraled two zucchini squash and had leftovers to boot.

Now, spoon a nice helping of ragù over your zoodles and sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese over top. Bon Appetit!

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