Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

When it comes to Valentine’s Day at home, it really doesn’t get much better or sexier than a big bowl of pasta for me. Oh-la-la. And this Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle…wow.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

When I was trying to decide which Valentine’s dish to share with you this year, tons of pasta recipes came to mind. When I asked Clayton (my husband) “What comes to mind when you think of a home-cooked Valentine’s meal?” his response was “uh…steak!” So I decided to combine the two with a classic short rib ragu. So here she is, folks. This beauty of a dish tastes just as good as it looks!

On another note, Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year (womp womp). Instead of spending all night in the kitchen for your special date night, wake up a little early and get this in the crockpot so you come home to a delicious, home-cooked, sexy meal. Enjoy your night over this romantic Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle and splurge on some good wine! There are no gifts needed with a night like that in my opinion!

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

Happy Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or whatever “tines” you will be having this year! Celebrate LOVE… and don’t forget to love yourself. Without self-love you can’t fully love others, you can’t spread joy and happiness, and you can’t live your best life. So, make the world a better place and LOVE so hard this week!

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu over Pappardelle
Serves: 4 People
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time6 hours


  • 2 lbs. bone in short ribs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 lb. hunk of pancetta cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper i like to use 1/2 tsp. for a little more heat
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine cabernet preferably
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped basil
  • 12 oz. pappardelle pasta or tagliatelle is good

For Serving:

  • Good Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated
  • Parsley chopped loosely


  • Season all sides of the short ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Brown all sides of the short ribs (about 2 minutes per side). Remove and set in the bottom of the crockpot.
  • In the same pot, add the pancetta and let it fry up for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Now add diced celery, onion, carrot, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Be sure to season it well with salt and pepper, you want to make sure every layer is properly seasoned to ensure it isn't bland! Saute until veggies are tender and the pancetta is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to low, add the anchovy paste and stir it in and saute for 1 more minute.
  • Now sprinkle in the flour and stir until it coats the veggies.
  • Pour in the red wine and beef broth, stir and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the can of tomatoes and using the back of your spoon, try and break them up a bit.
  • Add the fresh and dried herbs. Stir in. Taste the sauce and add any more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
  • Pour sauce over the short ribs in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or when short ribs are fork tender.
  • When ribs are fork tender, discard the bay leaf and remove short ribs from slow cooker and onto a cutting board, with two forks, shred the meat and discard the bones and any unwanted fat/tendons. Place shredded meat back into the crockpot to let them soak back up the sauce (I like to turn my crockpot off or switch to warm during this time while I prep my pasta).
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Drain pasta in a colander. Divide amongst bowls and top with the ragu (NOTE: depending on how meaty your short ribs are, your sauce might be too saucy, if this is the case, use a slotted spoon to serve your sauce for best results!)
  • Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine, i prefer it with an Italian brunello di montalcino 😉


The ragu keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days, you can also freeze it for up to 1 month!

Photography by Eat Love Eats.



  • Reply
    March 9, 2023 at 12:37 am

    5 stars
    This was so easy and so delicious! Thanks for another great recipe Alex!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Has anyone perfected in the instapot?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2022 at 4:36 am

    I can’t find pancetta at the store, would bacon be a good substitute? Or should I omit the pancetta?

    • Reply
      November 18, 2022 at 10:46 pm

      If diced pancetta is not in your grocer by the bacon, your butcher may have and they could dice for you but bacon would work too!

  • Reply
    November 2, 2022 at 4:19 am

    What size slow cooker do you use? I’d like to double this recipe but I don’t want to over fill the pot

    • Reply
      November 11, 2022 at 2:27 pm

      Mine is an 8 qt! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 15, 2022 at 3:45 am

    5 stars
    Okay, this dish is AMAZING. My husband and I are obsessed, will be making this whenever we are in the middle for something special. I left out the pancetta, anchovy paste and parsley and it was still perfect.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    I’d love to cook this delicious meal for my family on New Year’s Day. Can this be cooked slowly in the oven in a cast iron pot instead of a slow cooker ?
    If so, what times and temps would you recommend?
    Thanks 😊

    • Reply
      December 31, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Sharon,
      I haven’t yet done this recipe in a dutch oven yet so I am can’t be 100% certain– but you could push the temp down to 275 and let it cook for 3-4 hours– just be sure to check on them– short ribs burn easily so I worry. But if they are meaty they should be ok!

      • Reply
        January 3, 2022 at 6:46 pm

        5 stars
        Hi! I’ve made this in the oven and it came out deeelish! For the oven, just divide time by 4 and place in an oven pre-heated to 325. So, since this recipe calls for 6-8 hours in the low setting of a slow cooker, you’d do 1.5-2 hours in the oven at 325 degrees (covered). I checked it a couple of times to ensure the ribs weren’t burning or drying out. Good luck!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2022 at 6:29 pm

      I cook Italian regularly…this ragu is delicious and I will add it to my regular dishes…as I said I do a LOT of Pasta…and THIS is a good one…I will probably tweak and twist the recipe over time I tend to that…I guess that’s what makes a “ cook”

      • Reply
        October 18, 2022 at 1:09 am

        Yes!! love that intuitive cooking!! Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    Can you prep everything night before and leave in crockpot overnight and turn on in the morning?

    • Reply
      December 20, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      As long as you keep the crockpot in the fridge so the meat doesn’t go bad!

      • Reply
        Liege Frank
        December 30, 2021 at 3:43 am

        5 stars
        Loved it!
        I made the night before but I left in the crock pot for 4 hours, let it cool for 2 before fridge and another 4 hour the next day. This is what worked out with my schedule. It was so amazing.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2021 at 2:23 am

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Adults and kiddos loved it!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Ok to use arrowroot flour?

    • Reply
      December 7, 2021 at 9:27 pm

      yes that should be fine!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Alex! I don’t have a crock pot can I do the same thing with an instapot?

    • Reply
      December 9, 2021 at 12:21 pm

      yes!! I am not positive on cooking time but i would go with 45 mins manual high pressure.

  • Reply
    Miranda Bolton
    November 23, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Alex, I doubled the recipe and the crock pot is to the brim. Should I increase the temperature on the crock pot to 6 hour temperature? thanks

    • Reply
      November 24, 2021 at 2:31 am

      i worry it might spill over the sides if you get the temp up too high! but yes– you’ll likely need a little longer cooking time.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Will leaving out the anchovy paste make a huge difference in overall turn out of the dish?

    • Reply
      February 8, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      I was wondering the same thing, did you try?

      • Reply
        March 12, 2021 at 1:04 am

        We made it without the anchovy paste and it was still really good!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2021 at 4:22 am

    This was so easy and SO TASTY. I modified it to make in my instant pot and it was amazing.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Short rib ragu is my boyfriend’s absolute favorite. I want to make this for his birthday this week, but we only have an instant pot. Do you have any suggestions on converting this recipe from crockpot? Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Reply
      Henna Tayyeb
      February 9, 2021 at 10:03 pm

      Yes, I’m also wondering the same! How to make this in the instant pot…

      • Reply
        October 28, 2021 at 1:39 pm

        There is a slow cooker option on most instapots.

  • Reply
    Connie Ness
    December 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    I made this for a something different Christmas Dinner!!! It was AWESOME!!! The comment was”restaurant worthy” !! Thanks for helping make my holiday a success!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Really great! I used three different cuts I found on sale (Ossobuco, neck bones, and short ribs), doubled the veggies (I’m weird, it’s a thing I do), and added a couple tablespoons of sherry vinegar with the added liquids. I omitted the flour but blended the sauce at the end and still got a nice rich sauce! It was so good! Can’t wait to eat our leftovers for breakfast 😀 And super excited to cook potatoes in the fat we skimmed!

    • Reply
      June 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Wow!! Sounds so fantastic! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    Marisa Skousen
    May 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Made this last week. It was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      🙂 YAY! You’re welcome!

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