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Grassfed Beef & Onion Ragu with Rigatoni (Pasta alla Genovese) Recipe

A truly succulent recipe for a grassfed chuck roast – Pasta alla Genovese. This slowly braised beef and onion ragu is incredibly easy to prepare, showcasing the simplicity of good ingredients and cooking with love. This dish is associated with the Campania region of Italy, Naples to be specific, and dates back to the second half of the 19th century. This 'white sauce' has no tomato in it and most recipes don't specify browning the beef before adding to the pot (which we typically always do, but hey, do as the Napolitano do). A large amount of thinly sliced onions cook alongside the beef and result in sweet, caramelized flavors that compliment the rich beef flavor perfectly. This is an excellent meal for Sunday dinner – pasta alla genovese may become your new favorite way to cook with our grassfed chuck roasts.

Serves 4-6


  • One 1915 Farm Grassfed Chuck Roast
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or pasture raised lard, which is traditionally used)
  • 2 carrots, finely minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely minced
  • 3 lb. yellow onions, sliced into half moons (a mandolin makes quick work of this, if you're very careful!)
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth 
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Lb. Rigatoni pasta (ziti is traditionally used)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, plus more for topping


Remove roast from packaging cut into equal sized chunks. Season all sides with kosher salt and set aside while prepping the rest of the ingredients. 

Preheat oven to 350°F

Place a large (at least 6 qt.) dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil followed by carrots and celery. Season with a large pinch of kosher salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft. Next, add all of the sliced onions, along with a few more large pinches of salt. Salt helps to draw moisture out of the vegetables, leading to better caramelization, and of course, flavor. 

Stir to combine vegetables (you will have quite a massive mound of onions at this point – don't worry, they will cook down substantially). Once the onions have begun to soften and reduce in size, add the chunks of beef, followed by the wine and 1 cup of chicken broth. The liquids should come about halfway up the beef. If needed, all a little or all of the second cup of broth. Add the bay leaves and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and cover with lid. Transfer to the oven for 3.5 to 4 hours, until meat easily shreds apart.

Remove bay leaves and shred meat in the pot with two forks. Depending on the amount of liquid remaining, you may wish to reduce the sauce a bit by cooking over medium-high for about 5-10 minutes, until desired consistency is reached. Keep in mind, reducing liquid will compound flavors, so it's best to taste and adjust salt levels after you've done this. Once you've tasted and adjusted seasoning as needed, turn off the heat, cover with a lid to keep warm until ready to serve. 

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of heavily salted water until it comes to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Make sure your parmesan cheese is grated and ready for the next step.

Reserve a 1/2 cup pasta water before straining pasta and returning to pot over low heat. To the pot of cooked rigatoni, add about half of the shredded beef and onion ragu, plus about 1/4 cup pasta water, and toss with tongs to coat. Sprinkle parmesan and toss to coat. The starchy pasta water and parmesan will help the ragu cling to the noodles and become a cohesive sauce. 

Portion into low rimmed pasta bowls and top with additional freshly grated parm. Enjoy!

We hope you love this recipe! If you’d like to share your delicious dish on Instagram, don’t forget to tag us @1915_Farm

P.S. If you love our grassfed beef – consider subscribing to the Grassroots Meat Club (ships free in TX, reduced in other states), which always allows you to add extras like a delicious tri tip or other premium steaks.

Each Grassroots Meat Club box includes a variety of hand-selected grassfed and pasture raised meats, such as chicken breasts, chicken tenders, leg quarters, wings, thighs, drumsticks, whole chicken, ground beef, kabobs, stew meat, stir fry, cutlets, London broil (top round), beef roasts, beef ossobuco, short ribs, various sausages, pork roasts, pork chops, bacon, ground pork, fajita meat, country style ribs, spare ribs, and bacon!


Recipe adapted from Matty Matheson 

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