OK, right off the bat, the idea of eating a meal being on it’s third day might seem a little off-putting.

Get over it!

We’re not talking about chugging a glass of milk three days past its prime. We’re talking about a rich, meaty beef braise whose flavor only improves as its juices mix, mingle and hang out in the fridge. Braises tend to peak on the second day after they’re cooked but they hold up very well for an entire week.  So catching a dish like this on its third or fourth day and then making a brilliantly simple pasta out it is, well, brilliant.

SO over the weekend get yourself organized, set aside a little time on Sunday and made a honkin’ batch of slow cooked goodness. You’ll get two great meals out it: #1–Open-faced sausage sandwiches #2–Braised beef shanks with broccoli rabe and white beans. Meal #3, a ridiculously good tomato sauce with bits of shredded beef in it, is at your fingertips as long as you can boil water and throw in a box of pasta. And we know you can do that. 

Beef Shank Ragu with Rigatoni
serves 4
2 cups leftover sauce (with the shredded meat bits)
1 lb. dry rigatoni pasta
finely grated parmesan cheese, as needed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.

Place the sauce in a large saute pan over a medium flame.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and stir immediately. Return to pot to a boil and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir the pasta every few minutes while it cooks.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the saute pan of sauce and stir well with a wooden or plastic spoon. Scoop 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water into the pan as well. Bring the entire mixture to a simmer and cook 1-2 minutes more or until the pasta is just tender. Stir in some parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning. Adjust the seasoning and serve, finishing the pasta with more cheese on the plate.