Easy Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Pasta Sauce

We spend half our year in Umbria from May to November, and then much of the winter in Florida so I avoid most of the cold winter weather. While I certainly prefer warm weather to cold, I do miss the heavier, heartier dishes one tends to prepare during the cooler months so there are times that despite the temperature outside, I pull out my slow cooker for a hearty braised roast, stew or sauce like this one. The slow cooker is a perfect way to cook short ribs, and this recipe makes a very meaty ragu sauce that works on just about every type of pasta, whether long or short.

This is a great dish for busy families, because you can take a few minutes in the morning to get it started, then you just leave it on all day slowly simmering and creating its magic. At dinner time, just pull the meat off the bones (most will have already fallen off!), cook your pasta, and serve.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Short RIbs Pasta Sauce


3 Pounds Beef Short Ribs
3 Tablespoons Olive OIl
1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Diced Small
2 Carrots, Peeled, Trimmed & Diced Small
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
1 (24 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/8 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper
1 Pound Pasta of Choice
To Serve:
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley


In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and brown the ribs well on all sides.
Place the ribs in your slow cooker, and add the onions and carrots to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until they take on color.
Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant.
Add the red wine to the skillet, and stir well, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour the wine and carrots over the ribs, then also add the tomatoes, paste, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Turn your slow cooker on low for 6 hours. (If the sauce begins to thicken too much, add a cup of water)
After 6 hours, use a fork to pull the meat off the bones of the ribs, break the meat up into small pieces, and discard the bones.
Cook the pasta until it is "al dente", then drain.
Add a scoop of sauce to the pasta and mix.
Serve the pasta in individual bowls topped with additional sauce and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Pass the cheese around the table.


5 Responses to “Easy Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Pasta Sauce”

  1. 1
    kimberly Blosser — January 31, 2013 @ 11:23 am

    That dish screams YUMMY ccomfort goodness! On the menu tomorrow TY


  2. 2
    vicki Raaen — January 31, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

    sound falulous will try soon> :0)


  3. 3
    Connie Gallagher — February 17, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    I made this last night for dinner and it was so amazing, my family went cazy over it. Thanks for all the recipes give out!


  4. 4
    Liz Broden — March 5, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    This is a wonderful recipe. I did not make it in my slow cooker, opting instead for a heavy, cast iron dutch oven and I simmered the sauce on the stove for four hours. I used rigatoni pasta and the whole family absolutely loved it. There was nothing left! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It’s now on my list of favourites.


  5. 5
    Allison B — March 5, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    Usually I would not add carrots in our tomato gravy (our family is from about 2 hours south of Umbria) but with the slow cooker I will try it. I am curious having always omitted them in the past out of our own Italian tradition. But since I have grass fed short ribs in the freezer just waiting for this I will get right on it! Yay.
    I came across your site looking for an Italian bread recipe that uses ricotta and I have gone on to read so many recipes. I was pleased to find your gnocci with ricotta recipe is similar to the way my cousin from New York makes hers. Yum. Your food is close to my family’s food. My grandfather came to Rhode Island and had 7 children. My mom and her sisters taught me to cook. They also visited my grandfather’s family in Pico, Italy. I love to cook authentic Italian American. Thanks for all the reminders and ideas.


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