Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Homemade Pappardelle with Slow Cooker Ragu

Miss Molly's lunch today! I used the lock and lock box which I really liked. She had PB&J sandwich swirls (just use a rolling pin and flatten the bread make the sandwich like always and then roll it up and cut it with a serrated knife, a simple but fun way to jazz it up) A handful of almonds, some Sunchips packed in there, carrot sticks, and a Babybell cheese. According to her daycare provider when she asked if she liked the cheese Molly just said, "Mmmmmmm."  :-)

One of the key's to bento is packing everything in just so, and TIGHT, so that stuff doesn't move around where you don't want it!
I made a slow cooker Italian Meat Sauce or Ragu last night and left it in the fridge over night so it was easy to pop into the slow cooker in the morning. I love the feeling of coming home, breathing deep just as you walk in the door, and getting all the smells wafting from the slow cooker. I was originally going to make pre-made tortellini but then decided to make homemade noodles. There is nothing like homemade noodles. And this is a GREAT recipe, if you have a food processor.
Homemade Noodles
2 cups flour
3 eggs
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp water
1 tsp salt
1. Put all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until it comes together (if it looks a little meally and doesn't come together into a ball, pull it out  and if it comes together like dough in your hand  it is fine. Or if it isn't coming together vary small amounts of more oil and water until you get the consistency you want/need) On a floured surface kneed it a bit until it comes together.
2. Divide the dough into 4 equal sizes, work one at a time and keep the rest under wrap until you are ready for them.
3. Bust out the pasta maker and on the lowest setting (#1) roll the pasta through and fold it in on itself a couple of times to get the right rectangular shape and to kneed the dough just a bit more. Then working through the settings until you get to about the #7 (thin but not too thin) then I used my pizza cutter and very "rustically" cut out about 1 inch strips. Then say out loud, "Ta-Da!" because we don't say that enough and it makes you feel special, you are done (just repeat this last step three more time to get through the rest of the dough and you are golden to move on to cooking!
4. In a pot of salted boiling water, drop the fresh noodles in carefully so they don't stick (since they aren't dry they don't cook as long, think 4 minutes instead of 8-10) Then toss with your sauce and you have fresh, easy, and very "Trendy" right now pappardelle noodles!
(Night Before put together so all you have to do is pull it from fridge, plop into crock pot, and turn on!)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 28oz cans of whole stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup beef broth
1 1/4 cup of red wine
salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute onion, carrots and celery for a few minutes to soften. Then add meat and cook until done.
2. In crock pot dump the rest of the ingredients, when meat mixture is done include that too and then put in fridge. (If you want the wine a little toned down you could cook the wine in the meat on the stove prior to dumping it into the crock pot, I didn't do this step and I loved the sauce, and my daughter LOVED the noodles so win win!)
3. In the morning put in crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Before serving use a wooden spoon and break up the big chunks of tomatoes and taste the salt content, add more till it is to your liking.

This Ragu recipe is based off another Relish meal!


  1. That lunch is amazing. What a great mom you are. Lots of love went in to that lunch. The Ragu looks so delcious. I will be making it soon. Now following!!

  2. Making pasta from scratch it requires both time and patience. I can understand the effort put in these ones but they look delicious.

  3. I used my crock pot this week too! I made chili though!


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