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

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Short RIbs Pasta Sauce

Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes

A meaty tomato ragu prepared in the slow cooker that works with any type of pasta.


  • 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


  1. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and brown the ribs well on all sides.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour the wine and carrots over the ribs, then also add the tomatoes, paste, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  6. Turn your slow cooker on low for 6 hours. (If the sauce begins to thicken too much, add a cup of water)
  7. 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.
  8. Cook the pasta until it is "al dente", then drain.
  9. Add a scoop of sauce to the pasta and mix.
  10. Serve the pasta in individual bowls topped with additional sauce and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
  11. Pass the cheese around the table.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 711Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 49g