ani's left over cooked cow pasta sauce

Once upon a time dr bob got snagged for jury duty selection, the serious kind, Federal Court jury duty. As a college professor who cannot be substituted for in the classroom, it was actually allowed to postpone the arbitrary date of service to a more convenient time when classes were not in session for some weeks, but still getting selected for a Federal criminal trial jury meant possibly weeks or months with even a displacement an hour away from home to a nearby small city. The week before Christmas is final exam period and the start of a three week break in classes till the spring semester begins. Right at the beginning the day arrives, bob trains into Center City philly (from the 'burbs) to the Federal Courthouse, together with a whole lot of other nervous citizens. We wait. In theory it could be a three day ordeal waiting for possible selection. But Merry Christmas, bob, only one case on the docket just before Christmas, and they settled after three hours of our morning encounter, we were free to go and not return. What a relief. And for once liberated from his self-imposed office incarceration on a week day in the city. Just in time for lunch.

A few blocks away awaits a reward for the citizen service however brief, Fork restaurant, already known to bob from a previous visit, with a well deserved reputation. The special was rigatoni pasta with some kind of cooked down meat sauce. Normally aiming in the vegetarian direction, especially with pasta dishes, this opportunity to try something previously unexperienced was just the thing. And it was delicious. Remaining a singular event parked in bob's memory for future reference.

Years later left over roast beef comes home from an in-law dinner. Sits a few days in the fridge awaiting its fate. Ani gets inspired. Remembering a bit her mom's more traditional recipe for pressure cooked cow in red wine sauce and years of Italian home cooking experience not to mention all those hours of Italian cooking shows, she charges ahead with this sauce creation. Then goes off to early evening exercise  class with her women friends. By her return bob manages to cook up half a box of perciatelli and make a pretty good salad. The perciatelli, also called bucatini, suggested themselves for the job through their traditional association with amatriciana sauce, also a meat based clinging sauce. Good choice.

The moment of truth arrives. But first the mandatory photo in case this recipe is worth remembering. The photo seems to go well in spite of the bad lighting. And then the recipe trial. Tastes as good as it looks! Another success story for the dr bob kitchen team, naturally due to the talent of ms_ani.

The ingredients here are approximate and can be adjusted for more pasta and/or more mouths to feed. This sauce can be made ahead of time and rewarmed when the al dente pasta is ready. "And/or" since more pasta without extra mouths means terrific leftovers yet again. This recipe delivered us two abundant plates plus a healthy smaller lunch portion for two.


1 medium onion, chopped
olive oil for sautéing
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/4 t hot pepper flakes
1 1/2 c cubed (thickly sliced) left over roast beef
8 oz white mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c red wine
1 heaping t red pepper paste, dissolved in 1/2 c warm water
1/4 t allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 to 2 c crushed tomatoes
1/2 lb bucatini/perciatelli, or other long pasta
generous parmigiano on each serving


  1. Sauté the onion in olive oil a bit. Then toss in the sweet red pepper and red pepper flakes and continue until softened. Same deal with the meat parts. Then add in the mushrooms and continue a bit.
  2. Add in the wine and cook it off to reduce the liquid somewhat.
  3. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, red pepper paste water solution and allspice, salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer about 30 minutes to thicken the sauce and mature the flavors.
  5. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a big pasta pot of preboiling salted water until al dente. Then drain and mix with the sauce, already reheated if made in advance.
  6. Serve with parmigiano on each individual serving.


  1. We had some parmigiano shavings we had found at Trader Joe's starting to mold in the fridge, so we scattered some of that on our servings, discarding the occasional blue marked shavings of course.
  2. Fork Restaurant.
  3. Illustrations available.
leftovermeatsauce.htm: 2-oct-2011 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]