Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

I often make enough of a particular dish with the explicit intentions of having leftovers. This week, it was brisket. I originally made it for a big Sunday dinner with extended family. On Monday night we had brisket leftovers… and the kids complained. “Brisket again?!” Definitely a third world problem.

Brisket Ragu with RigatoniBrisket Ragu with Rigatoni

I knew that the brisket would need to be revamped. Tuesday night I reinvisioned the brisket into pizza: Brisket, Scallion & Smoked Gouda Pizza. It was a HUGE hit! With the last bit of leftover brisket (about 1 pound), for Wednesday night, I went Italian: Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni. The brisket shredded beautifully and added a a heartiness to the sauce that it needed.

My only disappointment was that I didn’t have my camera to take pictures of the process, only of the final product. You’ll forgive me, yes?


Leftovers Re-imagined... into pasta sauce!

Leftovers Re-imagined… into pasta sauce!

Good things come in three's... Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

Good things come in three’s… Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni


Brisket Ragu with Rigatoni

Makes 6 entree sized portions


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 tablespoon TJ’s crushed garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
1 pound brisket, cubed into 1/2″ pieces
Any remaining sauce from brisket (optional)
1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes (Pomi or Tuttarosa)
Small handful of basil
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 pound rigatoni (I used Barilla Rigatoni), cooked as per package instructions, until al dente, about 8 minutes
Pecorino Romano cheese to sprinkle (optional)


1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium/high heat.
2. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.
3. Add garlic and saute just a few moments until fragrant.
4. Add brisket. Break up the brisket with a wooden spoon while it’s heating up.
5. Add crushed tomatoes, brisket juice (if using) and basil. Bring to a boil.
6. Turn down heat to low. Let simmer 10-15 minutes.
7. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
8. Add pasta to the sauce. Toss and serve.
9. Top with Pecorino Romano (if using).
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

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