Beef ragu with fresh sofrito and tricolor penne in 30 minutes: a CardioKit recipe

or leave the beef out if vegetarian

Perfect when tomatoes are in season. More veg, less pasta and maximum satisfaction with the protection of sofrito (extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, tomato- see one of our previous recipes here for an explanation of the health benefits). Beef and tomato ragu sauces usually require long slow cooking but here is a fresh and quick version.

Partner with a simple salad, side veg or finish with a summer berry fruit medley for a perfect package. One of our summer favourites  —  perfectly good with the beef left out if you are vegetarian.

For a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids):


  • red onion half  —  finely chopped
  • garlic 3 cloves  —  roughly chopped or sliced
  • yellow pepper  —  finely sliced or chopped
  • mushrooms handful  —  sliced
  • tomatoes double handful  —  quartered
  • sirloin steak one thick cut (around 200g)  —  finely sliced across the grain with a sharp knife
  • tricolor penne 250g
  • Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated  —  sprinkle
  • extra-virgin olive oil  —  good glug
  • sea salt and black pepper seasoning
  • chilli, optional if you like a little heat


  1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large non-stick pan (moderate high heat) and add the onion and garlic. Season and allow to soften.
  2. Add the yellow pepper (and the chilli if you like a little heat) — finely sliced so that it melts into the sauce. Cook for another few minutes to soften before adding the sliced mushrooms.
  3. When the mushroom have also started to soften turn the heat up and add the finely sliced steak. A little goes a long way and so buy the best quality steak possible. Add a little more black pepper and a pinch of salt.
  4. When the steak is browned add the tomatoes and turn the heat down. Cover with a piece of foil or grease-proof paper so that the ingredients can gently cook together without drying out too quickly. Stir occasionally.
  5. Check on the mix after around 5 minutes. The tomatoes should be breaking up  —  help them on their way with by crushing them with the cooking spoon.
  6. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. After about 12 minutes (depending on the packet) you can drain and add straight into the sauce which should now have all melted together. If you need to loosen the sauce add a little of the pasta water.
  7. Toss and cook the whole mixture together for another 2 minutes and serve with a sprinkle of cheese.


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