Quick Ragu

by GreatMeals
Quick Ragu with Caesar Salad

We can’t believe it’s already March 😱 We are already thinking of what to plant at home in our garden planters 🌿🍅 While brainstorming… we made this quick ragu with ricotta and lemon 🍋 for lunch… so we can go back to discussing more important things 😬 such as how to keep the critters 🦝 from eating our future plants 🌱. Let us know if you guys have any good ideas!


Quick Ragu with Caesar Salad

Quick Ragu

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Fine sea salt and black pepper
1 pound ground beef
2 heaping tablespoons sambal oelek (or any spicy red-pepper paste)
¼ cup full-bodied red wine, like cabernet or merlot
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
8 ounces plain or whole-wheat lasagna noodles (not no-cook), broken in 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 lemon, zested
Flaky salt, like Maldon


  1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and cook until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it apart with the edge of a spoon, until nicely browned but not completely cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the sambal oelek. Add the wine and stir to release any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing completely between your hands or with a potato masher. Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down and the beef is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper halfway through cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Boil the broken lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente.
  4. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over medium until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and crush on a cutting board with the flat end of a large knife or the bottom of a skillet.
  5. Drain the pasta, add to the ragù and toss to coat. Divide among four bowls and dollop each generously with ricotta. Sprinkle with lemon zest, cracked fennel, flaky sea salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil as desired. Serve warm.
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