2 pounds beef bottom round roast
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery (I used a fennel bulb instead)
4 cloves garlic, slivered, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup homemade beef stock or canned broth
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, drained (I didn't drain the tomatoes)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 pound penne or pappardelle
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the pot roast and brown on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan, and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and slivered garlic and sauté until soft, 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and set aside.
Set a rack in the bottom of the pot and place the roast on top. Pour the stock into the pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. (Instead of a rack, I put the stalks of fennel under the roast.)
Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Remove the roast and the rack from the Dutch oven, and cut the meat into 1/4-inch-thick slices (they will be quite rare). Return the slices to the pot, layering them evenly.
Crush the plum tomatoes slightly, and add them to the pot along with the tomato paste, the 1 teaspoon minced garlic, pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaf, red wine, and reserved vegetables. Bring to a boil, tranfer to the oven, and bake, covered, until the meat falls apart, 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the meat and bay leaf from the pot, and allow the meat to cool slightly. Discard the bay leaf. Shred the meat and return it to the pot. Add the parsley, and heat through.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook at a rolling boil until just tender. Drain.
Serve the stracotto over the hot pasta.