Ragu Pasta Bake is an easy weeknight meal, made with a hearty tomato sauce, ziti pasta, and baked with melty cheese. The best part, the ragu sauce is made from Leftover Beef Roast!
When leftovers transform into a second dinner as delicious as the first, I’m all in! Ragu Pasta Bake is just as delicious as the Beef Roast dinner it came from the night before! My Simply Perfect Beef Roast is a family favorite, a fond memory from my childhood, served many times by my mom and grandma. It’s pure comfort food, screams the 80’s, and is just as delicious as it was back then.
With only 3 ingredients, beef-onion-stock, and a little bit of morning prep, it braises away in the oven to be ready by dinner. I’ve often used it to feed a crowd on little white sandwich buns, but I also love to make it just for our little family of 4, because the leftovers can be the best part!
The simple flavors of the beef roast make it so easy to transform into another meal. Leftovers can be heated the next day for lunch, frozen and then rewarmed in a saucepan with a little water, or recreated into a new dinner all its own. Warm the meat with a few dashes of chili powder and cumin for tacos with pico de gallo salsa, shredded cabbage and guacamole.
My favorite leftover use up? Ragu Pasta Bake! Use your leftovers to make a hearty tomato ragu sauce. Just saute onions and garlic, add the leftover beef, red wine, herbs and canned tomato. Cook your favorite short pasta like ziti, penne or rigatoni and mix it with the sauce. Top it with lots of cheese and broil it for just a few minutes to melt. Perfect served with a simple side salad. It’s an easy weeknight meal that makes that beef roast prep you did yesterday worth every effort!
More Favorite Pastas!
- Creamy Farfalle with Prosciutto and Peas
- Mom’s Spaghetti
- Peppers & Fennel Sausage Penne
- Bacon Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- Italian Sausage Bolognese
- Creamy Pesto Fettuccine
Ragu Pasta Bake from Leftover Beef Roast
- 1 T olive oil
- ½ onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 c leftover beef roast (whatever amount you have is fine, discard white fat)
- ½ c red wine (optional)
- 1 28oz can tomatoes whole peeled and pulsed in a food processor, or diced or crushed
- 1 5oz can tomato paste
- ½ t kosher salt
- 6 grinds fresh black pepper
- ⅓ c fresh Italian herbs like basil, oregano, thyme or parsley (or 2t dried Italian seasoning)
- 1 lb Ziti pasta or any short pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc)
- 2 c Provolone cheese shredded
- ½ c Parmesan cheese shredded
- In a large sauce pot over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion until soft and starting to lightly brown, then add garlic.
- Add leftover beef roast and stir and break it up to warm through. (Note – This recipe could be made with 1lb ground beef or Italian Sausage in place of the leftover beef roast, just brown it first and then add the onions and go from step 1)
- Deglaze with wine, letting it cook and sizzle a minute, then add tomato products, break up whole tomatoes in a food processor or by squeezing them into the sauce or chopping them before adding. Rinse out your cans and food processor with ½ cup of water and add to the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper, stir well to combine, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or longer. It can sit on low heat for a few hours if needed.
- Set oven to high broil.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. When sauce has simmered, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Transfer to a casserole dish (or you can bake it in the pan it's in if it is oven safe) and top with shredded cheese.
- Broil 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with a side salad and crusty bread!