Whole-Wheat Fusilli with Beef Ragu

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 1h

6 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each

This chunky, full-bodied sauce is a good match for hearty whole-wheat pasta. We've augmented a little lean ground beef with mushrooms to get a rich, meaty sauce that has a minimum of saturated fat.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


  • 8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 6 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • Large pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat fusilli or rotini
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
  • Tip: If you're only serving 2 or 3 people, toss half the sauce with 6 ounces cooked pasta; freeze the remaining sauce. If you're serving more than 6 or are just feeling industrious, you can easily double the sauce recipe

  • Pasta cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than overcooked pasta, and whole-wheat choices are lower than white.


Cook the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a strainer or colander and drain off the fat.

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add the wine, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, salt and the meat; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the flavors have developed, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Pass Parmesan separately, if using.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 8956

nutrition information per serving

318 calories; 3g total fat; 1g total saturated fat; 23mg cholesterol; 213mg sodium; 55g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 17g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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