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Playing Short Ribs with Pasta e Fagioli


  • 3 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 pound slab bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 6 to 8 beef short ribs, bone-in
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel or fennel pollen
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Herb bundle of sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 can beef consomme
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 pound ditalini pasta or macaroni
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Serves: 4-6


Preheat oven to 325F.

Heat a Dutch oven with EVOO over medium-high heat. Add bacon or pancetta and brown; remove and reserve on a paper towel-lined plate.

Pat short ribs dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown meat evenly in drippings and remove. Add vegetables and garlic, and stir 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and fennel, add bay, stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add herb bundle and deglaze pan with wine. Stir, add consomme and stock. Add beef and bacon back into pan and cover; roast 2 1/2 hours to tender.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook pasta 5 minutes then drain.

Remove meat and herb bundle. Cover meat to keep warm. Switch on broiler.

Add pasta and beans to pan and stir in half the cheeses. Set beef into pasta and cover with remaining cheese, brown in center oven under broiler.