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Whole-Wheat Fusilli With Beef Ragu

Whole-Wheat Fusilli With Beef Ragu

WebMD Recipe from

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.

Prep: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour
  • 8 ounces
    90%-lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium
    chopped carrots
  • 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
  • 1 28-ounce can
    tomatoes, diced, not drained
  • 1/2 cup
    dry red wine
  • 1-2 teaspoons
    fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 large pinch
    crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon
    salt, or to taste
  • 12 ounces
    whole-wheat fusilli or rotini
  • 2 tablespoons
    fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons
    freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Cook 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 fat.
  2. Heat oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3.  Add tomatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add wine, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, salt and the meat; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the flavors have developed, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Pasta cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than overcooked pasta, and whole-wheat choices are lower than white.

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

Nutritional Information

Makes: 6 servings
Serving Size: about 1 1/3 cups
  • Calories318
  • Fat3 g
    • Saturated fat1 g
  • Cholesterol23 mg
  • Carbohydrates55 g
    • Dietary fiber9 g
  • Protein17 g
  • Sodium213 mg
* Nutritional Guidelines based on the USDA's MyPlate Standards.
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