Adventures of a Semi-Vegetarian: Pot Roast Bolognese Pappardelle

It’s okay, you can laugh at my semi-vegetarianism. Everyone does. I eat meat one day a week at the most. But when I do, it must be high quality; I’m not a fan of hormones or antibiotics or animals crammed into warehouses. Please respect your food.

After coming out of my food coma, I thought I would share this recipe for Pot Roast Bolognese Pappardelle with my fellow ESers because I know you all enjoy a good food coma. However, you must know, there are a few essentials to this recipe where corners cannot be cut:

  • Use fresh homemade pasta (you can make ahead).
  • Take time to braise your meat on low (you can make ahead).
  • Use homemade vegetable stock (you can make ahead).
  • Use a full-bodied red wine.
  • Season your sauce with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and salt your pasta water.

That’s it. If you don’t cut corners, this will be delicious. And yes, even semi-vegetarians will like it.

Pot Roast Bolognese Pappardelle


3 1/2 c all purpose flour (+ more for dusting)

4 large eggs

2 – 2.25 lb top round roast (top round is more tender than bottom round)

1/2 c olive oil

1 bottle full-bodied red wine

3 sprigs thyme

1 T black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 carrots, peeled and roughly cut

4 stalks celery, roughly cut

2 cloves garlic

2 large yellow onions

2 6 oz cans tomato paste

1/2 c freshly grated parmesan



  1. Braise pot roast: Heat oven to 300 F. In a stainless steel saute pan, heat 1 T olive oil on medium high heat. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown pot roast on each side to develop a brown crust. This will add flavor and hold in moisture during braising. Transfer to a dutch oven (fat side up) on top of 1/2 onion, 1 carrot, and 1 stalk celery all roughly chopped. Fill dutch oven with wine. Wine should cover about 3/4 of meat. Cover with lid and braise for about 4 hours. Don’t peek! Just let it do its thing!                                           
  2. Make vegetable stock: Fill a large stock pot with 3 carrots, 3 stalks celery, and 1 large yellow onion. Add peppercorns, a sprig of thyme, and one bay leaf. You can tie your herbs in a bouquet garni if you’d like. Simmer for about 3 hours. Strain vegetables and reserve carrots and celery for sauce. Reserve vegetable stock for sauce.
  3. Make your pasta: Make a well with the flour. Add the eggs in the center of the well. Using a fork, gently mix the flour into the eggs, adding more from the sides as needed. The dough will start to come together, but will look rather messy and not all of the flour will be incorporated. Start to knead the dough for 3 minutes. It should be tacky, but not too sticky. Take the dough out of the flour and knead for about 3 more minutes to develop the gluten in the flour. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes in plastic wrap. Use a pasta machine or a rolling pin to roll out dough on a well floured surface. Cut into wide strips or whatever shape you desire.
  4. Make sauce: Once meat is done braising, it should be easily shredded and set aside. In a saute pan over medium heat, add chopped garlic and small dice of 1/2 onion to 2 T olive oil. Add reserved carrots and celery from vegetable stock, smashing them with a spatula. Saute until veggies brown a bit. Add tomato paste. Add 1 c red wine. Reduce about half of it. Add about 1 c of braising liquid and 2 c vegetable stock. Add shredded pot roast. Reduce sauce until it is thick. Season your sauce with kosher salt, tasting along the way. Add about 1/4 c olive oil and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Boil well salted water for pasta. Fresh pasta cooks quickly. Once al dente (3 minutes at the most), transfer pasta to sauce. Gently fold noodles into sauce. Serve immediately and garnish with grated parmesan.
  6. Commence food coma.

Recipe serves about 5-6 of your semi-vegetarian friends.

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  • That looks amazing! I don’t have a pasta machine, would have to sub the noodles. Yum!

  • TheGourmetCoffeeGuy March 6, 2011  

    Thank you for the detailed explanation about how to braise the roast correctly. Will use your tip. Great recipe, thank you for sharing.

  • Lausmadel July 6, 2012  

    I was wondering… Did you ever try the pot roast in a slow cooker instead of dutch oven? Homemade pasta is definitely so much better tasting!

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