Beef Ragu Fettucine

This is so good kids can’t see the veg in it

Meat has become frightfully expensive but Beef Ragu Fettucine from Pinch of Nom makes 300g of stewing beef stretch a long way. It’s bulked out by a plethora of vegetables which are masked by the generous quantity of sauce and pasta. This recipe can therefore trick the most obstinate of anti-veg people to tuck in, my teenage son being proof. I love it when he asks if I’ll make it again considering he would have pulled his face when seeing the initial mound of ingredients.

Pinch of Nom include three ways to cook this dish in their book (hob, pressure cooker and slow cooker). I opted for the hob because I’m not cool enough to own a pressure cooker, and slow cookers just piss me off (no matter what I do, the sauce always seems watery, is it just me?!?). Do watch your heat if cooking on a hob – it may need less than the recommended 2 ½ hours’ time.

I swapped fettucine for tagliatelle (Tesco isn’t posh enough to stock it), and while the pearl barley will add some additional texture, don’t fret if you can’t get any. I like to make this on a quiet Sunday while I’m pottering about and warm it through for Monday’s tea.

Recipe: Beef Ragu Fettucine  

Calories: 445 per serving

Serves: 4

Book: Pinch of Nom

Prep time: Approx 20 mins

Cooking time: Approx 2 hours and 30 mins on the hob (see the book for alternative cooking methods)


  • 300g stewing steak (all visible fat removed), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 courgette, finely diced
  • 150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 500g carton passata
  • 300ml beef stock (2 beef stock cubes dissolved in 300ml boiling water)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 50g pearl barley
  • 200g dried fettucine
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)

Cost per portion: *Approx £1.75 (*based on using dried tagliatelle instead of fettucine and without the addition of Parmesan. Tesco’s prices Apr 2023)


Season the meat well with salt and pepper.

Spray a large saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray. On a high heat, fry off the meat for about 10 minutes until browned.

When the meat is browned, add the veg and saute for another couple of minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients apart from the pasta and pearl barley. Mix well, pop a lid on the saucepan and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally.

After an hour, add the pearl barley to the ragu and stir. Put the lid back on and cook for a further hour until the beef is very tender.

Around 20 minutes before the ragu has finished cooking, put on a pan of water and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Add the cooked, drained pasta to the ragu, combine, and serve, topped with grated Parmesan (remember to count the calories if using it!).


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