It’s officially Summer! Summer means an abundant supply of delicious summer fruits and vegetables. This year, I decided to plant corn and squash in addition to my normal staple of tomatoes and peppers. Both my corn and squash plants are doing well. I only planted 2 squash plants but they’re doing so well that I’m harvesting at least 2 every other day.
So what do I do with all these squash? Short Ribs Pasta Sauce!
This recipe is from a good friend of mine and it’s chock full of vegetables, perfect for kids who aren’t vegetable fans. Another reason why I like this sauce is because it can be frozen and defrosted without a sacrifice in quality. When I make a batch of this sauce, I usually freeze a couple of quarts for those nights when I don’t feel like cooking.
The long list of ingredients may make this recipe seems a bit intimidating but it’s really easy but worth the preparation effort.
- 2 lb boneless short ribs (You can use boned-in short ribs too, but you’ll probably want to increase the amount)
- 4 squash (I use either yellow squash or zucchini – whatever is on sale at your store)
- 4 carrots
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 large can of tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed – whatever is on sale at your store, or you can cut up fresh tomatoes too)
- 1 14.5oz-can low-sodium chicken broth
- 16 oz button mushroom (or crimini mushrooms), sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pepper flakes, or to taste
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Brown sugar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Red wine, optional
- 1/4-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, optional
- Salt and pepper
Note: All seasoning measurements are approximate so please adjust to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Season short ribs with salt and pepper and sear all sides. I used beef short ribs chuck steak in this picture since I couldn’t find boneless short ribs at the store that day.
- Cube squash, carrots, bell pepper and onions, set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering, then add 4 cloves of chopped garlic, onion, thyme from a few sprigs, pepper flakes and a teaspoon cinnamon. Stir fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Cinnamon may sound like a weird ingredient to add to pasta sauce for some of you, but it really does make a difference.
- Add cubed vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon (if more is needed), and red wine.
- Bring to a boil then nestle the short ribs back in the sauce.
- Cover and place in oven for 2-3 hours to “roast”.
- Remove short ribs from sauce carefully and shred using 2 forks.
- Puree the sauce, then place the shredded meat back in the sauce. Stir to mix well. I use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- In a separate pan, saute garlic and mushrooms in a tablespoon of oil. Season with Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add it to the sauce and meat.
- Add Parmesan cheese to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Now boil your favorite pasta to al dente and pour this sauce over it. Enjoy!