Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta

This dish came out of an odd craving. I wanted something like chicken marsala, but a lot fuller and richer. I also wanted beef. After far too long an amount of time transpired before these two cravings merged into one, the idea for this dish was born. I took one of my favorite cuts of beef (shortribs), and prepared them with all of the marsala flavors I was craving, and turned it into a pasta dish.

Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta

This really nailed the craving for me: a hearty, stewy version of marsala. It tasted rich, earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet. The sauce was simple: a reduction of the liquid used to braise the beef in. As such, it was really full flavored: beefy and clearly marsala. The pasta was a great body for the dish and since I think nothing goes with mushrooms like beef, I tossed in some sautéed shitakes to go with it. If you’re ever on the fence about something stewy vs something pasta-like, this is a very happy compromise.

  • 3 strips bacon
  • ~5 lbs beef short ribs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 1 red bell
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups marsala wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • several sprigs rosemary
  • handful parsely
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • ~8 oz shitake mushrooms
  • ~1.5 lbs pasta (I made 2, but had too much. This is an approximation)

Brown the shortribs

Cook the bacon and set aside. Season the shortribs with salt and pepper and brown them in the remainin bacon grease for roughly 2-3 minutes per side, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Set these aside.

Mince the vegetables

Finely mince and then sauté the shallot, celery, carrot, and pepper in the remaining grease for roughly 8 minutes. Then add the finely minced garlic for a minute further.

Deglaze with marsala and reduce

Deglaze the pot with 3 cups of the wine, scraping up all the brown bits.
Reduce the wine on high heat by roughly half (figure around 10 minutes).

Add the stock and herbs before you return the shortribs to the pot. Raise the heat up to a boil, cover the pot, and transfer to a 350°F oven. Let this go for roughly 3 hours and give it a stir once or twice.

Sauté the mushrooms and deglaze with marsala

Shortly before when you expect the beef to be done cooking, you should cook your pasta (per package directions) as well as the mushrooms. The mushrooms are simple: stem and chop in smallish pieces and sauté in olive oil with a dash of salt for roughly 10 minutes or until they look like they’re beginning to caramelize (rather than that soggy/sweaty looking stage they reach earlier on). Once they look done, deglaze the pan with the remaining 1 cup of marsala wine and let it reduce down for about 5 minutes, give or take. Set this aside.

Shortribs after braising for 3 hours

With the ribs done cooking, do your best to skim off the plentiful fat that has settled on top of your pot. Fish out the beef and set it aside to cool. Reduce the cooking liquid over medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes so it takes on more of a sauce-like consistency and then puree to your liking using a blender.

Beef Shortribs Marsala Pasta

With the beef cool enough to handle, remove the bones and any chewy/excessively fatty bits you normally wouldn’t bother eating. Chop up the meat that remains into bite-sized pieces and throw it into your pot of sauce (turn off the heat while you’re at it). Also throw in the mushrooms and pasta. Give things a good toss and let it sit for a few minutes just to rewarm the meat and mushrooms. Then, simply serve a good scoop, garnish your plate with parmesan and rosemary, and dig in. Enjoy!

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17 Responses to “Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta”

  1. Joan Nova Says:

    Mike, this looks delicious! Nothing better than short ribs. Nothing better than pasta. Add the aromatic of marsala wine and I think you brokered a marriage made in heaven!

  2. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    Another winner, Mike! Your pasta looks absolutely fantastic! This is a perfect dish to make on a lazy, rainy Sunday. I’ve never paired Marsala with beef, but it sounds very interesting.

  3. Terri Says:

    Mike, I was looking for something new to have for dinner tonight! This is it! I can’t wait to try it.

  4. Hélène Says:

    Beautiful Mike! Another great recipe. Must be so good.

  5. colloquial cook Says:

    Ah-ah – so we’re passing our cravings on to our fellow bloggers are we now? Very naughty, very naughty.

  6. Sandie Says:

    Your plating is gorgeous. If I were served this in a restaurant, rest assured I would be a happy eater!

  7. Heather Says:

    mmmm. anything with marsala makes m happy. that looks delicious!

  8. The Duo Dishes Says:

    We’ve only seen this with chicken, so beef is a nice change. Especially over pasta. Different. Delicious.

  9. nina Says:

    This is not your normal pasta sauce……..but boy does it look good!!!!!

  10. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    This is a “last gasp of winter” dish, like the beef stew I made last night. Soon the cravings will be for asparagus, peas, ramps and other greenery of summer, but today, when the weather is still a big on the cold side, this dish looks delicious.


    Great looking recipie and photos.

    Can beef ribs marsala be made in crockpot???

    Please advise and thanks

  12. aforkfulofspaghetti Says:

    Certainly different! Good for you for saying yah boo sucks to conventional food pairings. Fortune favours the brave, as this recipe surely demonstrates!

  13. Terri Says:

    Mike, this was soooo yummy. I had it on mashed potatoes instead of pasta and cooked it on the stove-top instead of in the oven. So easy!

  14. Jen Says:

    Looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

    2 questions…

    How many does this serve and how would you adjust to serve 8?

    What type of Pot/Pan did you use? I notice it is used on top of the stove than you put it in the oven for 3 hrs, is that a dutch oven?


  15. Carrie Oliver Says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is the second amazing braised beef recipe I’ve seen today and I am in love. Marsala and beef short ribs sounds almost too good to be true. Then you have to go and throw in some bacon, too!? Drat, and we’re having thai curry tonight.

    I’m also curious about the pan. I usually use cast iron when making braised meats. Are there better options?

  16. Jude Says:

    I can only imagine how delicious the braising liquid by itself must be. A nice bonus to go with the silkiness of the short ribs.

  17. Katherine Says:

    This dish has me drooling. I love how you’ve layered the flavors.

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