Archive for Winter Pasta

Rigatoni With Lentil Ragu

When my friend Deb. Mele posted a recipe for Lentil Bolognese I have to say, it got my attention!  As I am always on the lookout for interesting pasta sauces, for vegetarian meals and lastly but by no means least, I’m that woman who stuffs Castelluccio lentils into her luggage when packing to come home from Italy. Castelluccio lentils are grown in Umbria and are tiny, brownish jewels with a delicate flavor and a wonderfully tender texture. And like Lentil du Puy, they don’t disintegrate in cooking, which makes them ideal for salads.  This is my version of Deb’s. recipe!  You may not be able to get your hands on Castelluccio lentils, if not, substitute other Italian lentils.  There are some nice ones from Puglia available.

Makes Enough Ragu for 1 lb. Rigatoni

Precook the Lentils:

1 cup Castelluccio lentils, picked over for any debris or stones, or other Italian lentils
1/3 cup finely diced carrots
1/3 cup finely diced celery

Make the Sauce:

1/3 cup finely diced onion
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried bay leaf
5 Tbsp. EVO
¼ – ½ tsp. peperoncino (aka chili flakes)
½ cup dry white wine
2 ½ cups tinned Italian plum tomatoes, diced & crushed with your hands
1 Tbsp. tomato paste.
1 – 2 tsp. sea salt or Kosher salt

1 lb. Rigatoni or other tubular shaped pasta

To Finish Dressing the Pasta:

5 – 6 leaves of fresh basil
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
½ – 1 cup finely grated Pecorino

Place the picked through & rinsed lentils in a medium sized pot with the carrots, celery, bay leaves & 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil; turn the heat down, cover & sinner 15 – 25 minutes or just until tender.

Meanwhile, heat 5 Tbsp. EVO in a large saute pan. Saute 1/3 cup of the onion & the garlic slices until softened & slightly golden but not browned. Clear a spot in the pan & add the tomato paste, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the chili flakes (peperoncino) to the pan, stir for 30 seconds. Add the white wine & reduce by 1/3rd. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer; cook until slightly thickened. Drain the lentils, reserving the liquid & add the lentils to the pan with the tomatoes, season with salt, keeping in mind that the sauce will reduce somewhat. Simmer this mixture uncovered for approximately 25 minutes of until it’s a good consistency to dressing the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with some of the lentil cooking water. Keep sauce warm.

Cook the rigatoni until al dente. Check it approximately 2 minutes before the suggested time on the package. Scoop out some of the cooking water & set aside, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the pan containing the warm sauce tossing to combine, adding a bit of the pasta cooking water to reach the desired consistency if necessary. Tear up and add the basil leaves & parsley, tossing to combine. Remove from the heat, add the Pecorino, toss to combine.

Place the pasta in a warm serving bowl & drizzle with the remaining EVO, sprinkle with a bit more Pecorino & serve immediately.

Mary’s Spaghetti Sauce

I’m pretty sure this was my very first experience of Italian cooking and I have to say it was love at first bite. I simply had to have the recipe so I could make it at my house.  Now…my family were not big into garlic and certainly nothing spicy…so that cayenne was quite the surprise with everyone gulping plenty of water while consuming their spaghetti! Next time I had to leave out the cayenne…not any more!  We lived a couple of doors from my friend Colleen and her family and I spent a lot of time there when I was growing up.  Her mom, Mary (a great cook), got the recipe from one of her sisters-in-law (both were of Italian heritage.) Over the years the original has been tweaked but the basic taste I fell in love with is still there!

Since learning a lot more about Italian cooking I have wondered if the long simmered chunks of beef were originally intended to be removed from the sauce, set aside to be served as the secondo (second course) with the remaining sauce tossed with spaghetti for the primi (first course).

Makes Enough Sauce for 1 1/2 lbs. Spaghetti

1 ½ lbs stewing beef, chuck is a great choice
4 Tbsp. EVOO
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 –  28 oz. tin Italian plum tomatoes, crushed with your hands, slosh tin with 1 cup water to rinse & add to sauce OR a bottle of passata
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, or more to taste
¼ tsp. ground cloves, or more to taste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper or peperoncino
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add EVOO & heat until hot but not smoking. Add the stewing beef and turn the meat in the EVOO until coated. Cook for 5 minutes until all the meat is no longer red. Add the onions & sauté until softened but not browned. Add the garlic & sauté for 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper or pepperoncino; sauté for a minute; stir in the tomato paste & cook for 1 minute. Pour in the crushed tomatoes & the cup water from the tin; season with salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot & simmer for 4 – 5 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Note: you can substitute lean ground beef or a mixture of ground beef & ground pork for the stewing beef.  The sauce will take 2 hours to cook instead of the 4 or 5 hours for stewing beef.

If you choose, you can add some or all of the following: chopped green pepper, sliced mushrooms, finely chopped celery, grated carrot, oregano, parsley & ½ cup or so of red or white wine wouldn’t hurt either.

Fettuccine Alfredo As It Was Meant To Be

Some time ago I read how Fettuccine Alfredo was first created, using only butter and cheese.  So you can imagine my delight when one day I saw Italian butter at our favourite cheese shop, Les Amis du Fromage!  Wow, I could hardly wait to get home and make some Alfredo.  Of course, there’s no question but Alfredo demands fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle.  The Italian butter really rocks this dish! We have been able to get our hands on New Zealand grass-fed butter that worked out very well.

Makes 3 – 4 Servings

1 lb. fresh, fettuccine/tagliatelle noodles**3 egg pasta dough
4 oz. Italian butter, unsalted and very soft (if you can’t find it…cultured, unsalted butter also works quite well)
2 – 3 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated + extra for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large pasta serving bowl in an 180 F oven.

Cook the fettuccine noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water for about two or three minutes, test for doneness after two minutes. At the same time, mix the softened butter in a bowl with the grated cheese until the cheese almost dissolves, forming a smooth cream. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta leaving just a small amount of water and toss the noodles with the Alfredo sauce in a heated serving bowl, adding pasta cooking water as necessary to create a creamy sauce; adding more cheese as necessary.  Season with freshly ground black pepper & serve immediately.

A creamy, cheesy dish of goodness enjoyed occasionally @#5.

To see how to make your own pasta, click Food Processor or Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.

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Phyllis’ Leek & Pancetta Tagliatelle

My “take” on a Lorenza de’Medici recipe. We think the addition of pancetta and a splash of white wine to the sauce makes it even more delicious.  I often make half the recipe for our primo which goes especially well with lamb marinated in my go to marinade for lamb.  And I hone in on local leeks, which are so sweet and delicious, to make this tasty, light sauce.

DSC_6712 nx2Makes 4 Servings

3 Tbsp. EVOO (or a combination of EVOO & unsalted butter)
2 lbs. leeks, cleaned & thinly sliced**
4 oz. pancetta cut ¼” thick & cut into cubes
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
Pinch of grated nutmeg
¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 egg pasta dough** or 12 – 16 oz. dried egg tagliatelle

Heat 1 Tbsp. EVOO in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the pancetta cubes to the pan & sauté until lightly browned, but not crisp, remove & set aside.

If there is more than 1 Tbsp. oil left in the pan, remove the excess. Add the remaining oil or a combination of oil & butter to the pan, adding the leeks when the oil is hot. Sauté, stirring for a few minutes, until they are translucent; season with salt & pepper to taste. Add ¼ cup water, lower the heat & simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil & warm a large pasta serving bowl.

When the leeks are done, add the cream, white wine, stock & nutmeg to the pan. Heat through; cover and keep warm on very low heat until ready to toss with the pasta.

Cook the pasta until al dente; reserve ½ cup or so of the cooking water. Drain the pasta in a colander. Add 3 Tbsp. Parmigiano to the sauce & stir to combine. Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan, tossing & adding pasta cooking water if it appears too dry. Toss for about 1 minute; season with salt & pepper if required. Place the pasta into the warmed serving bowl and serve immediately, passing the remaining Parmigiano.

If you would like to make tagliatelle/fettuccine, click Food Processor or Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.
To see how to clean leeks, click How To Trim Wild (Ramps) And Regular Leeks.

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Cauliflower Italian Sausage Strozzapreti or Casarecce, Da Leo

I was inspired to create this pasta after tasting my husband’s lunch at Trattoria Da Leo in Lucca, Italy.  It’s not exactly the same but it’s still damned good. I like to use cauliflower when it’s in season because I think it’s sweeter, but this can be made anytime and will still be a great dish of pasta.

Makes 4 Servings

1 small cauliflower_DSC1989 nx2 2016
¼ cup EVOO (you can use up to 1/3 cup of oil)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/8 – ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
½ lb. Italian sweet sausage, skin removed & crumbled
½ cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Passata or 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded & coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano or 3 – 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
12 oz. to 16 oz. Strozzapreti or Casarecce pasta (or any short pasta shape)

Place a serving bowl in a the oven at it’s lowest setting oven to warm.

Wash & trim the cauliflower; separate into small flowerets. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1-2 Tbsp. salt.

Meanwhile, heat EVOO on medium heat in a large sauté pan & cook the onion until soft; add the sausage, breaking up lumps with a fork until no longer pink & just lightly browned  Add the garlic, parsley & red pepper flakes; sauté for a minute then add the chopped sage. Stir in the wine & reduce by half & add the tomatoes; continue cooking for a few minutes, reducing  longer if using fresh tomatoes. Add the cauliflower; cover the pan & continue cooking over low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Add the cream & cook for a few minutes more.

In the meantime, brink a large pot of water to the boil.  Add the pasta & cook the until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water; drain the pasta.  Add the cooked pasta to the cauliflower sauce & toss for a minute or so to coat with sauce, adding pasta cooking water if it appears too dry.  Remove from the heat & add freshly grated Parmigiano. Place the pasta in a large heated bowl & serve.

 To see how to prepare the tomatoes, click Peeling & Seeding Tomatoes.

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Cacio e Pepe

This is the best version of Cacio e Pepe I have made so far, although in Rome, where the dish originates, we found that they used tonnarelli, a  thick spaghetti, instead of regular spaghetti.   I would recommend the Spaghetti alla Chitarra pasta made by either GiGi or La Molisana. I use it as a substitute for the tonnarelli which,  I have since discovered is the Roman version of alla Chitarra!  You could also use di Gragnano brand spaghetti or other better quality brands. We enjoyed a great version at Ristorante Maccheroni in Rome, if you happen to be going to Rome!

_DSC1596 resizeMakes 2 Servings

6 oz. pasta
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)
¾ cup finely grated Grana Padano cheese
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Stagionato cheese or Pecorino Romano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta & cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender.  Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water; drain pasta.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper & cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.

Add ½ cup reserved pasta water to skillet & bring to a simmer. Add pasta & remaining butter. Reduce heat to low & add Grana Padano, stirring & tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring & tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta & pasta is al dente. Add more pasta cooking water if sauce seems dry.

Transfer to a large warm serving bowl. Serve immediately.

To find Pecorino Stagionato cheese, please go to My Source List.

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Red, White And Green Lasagne

The colours of the Italian flag! I am always on the look-out for really good vegetarian pasta dishes and think this one is really, really good.

Makes 8 Servings

_DSC0993.jpg nx22 Tbsp. EVOO
3 large red bell peppers, chopped
15 oz. ricotta cheese, (I prefer Scardillo Geniuna** it’s creamy & not grainy)
1 ½ lbs. broccoli, flowerets cut into ¾” pieces & stems cut into ½” dice
2 cups rich winter tomato sauce (recipe below), freeze the remainder for another use.
12 (7 x3 ½”) sheets dry no-boil lasagne pasta
10 oz. mozzarella, grated (about 2 ½ cups)
1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

**Pepperoncino (red chili flakes) to taste, perhaps 1/8 – 1/4 tsp.)

Rich Winter Tomato Sauce:

Makes about 2 or 3 cups (you will need 2 cups for the lasagna, the remainder can be frozen for another time).  I normally make a double batch of the sauce & freeze for another use.  Why not?  It makes life a little easier at the end of a busy day.

1 ½ oz. sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cup boiling water
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 – 28 or 32 oz. tinned Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved
Salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl soak dried tomatoes in boiling water 30 minutes & drain in a sieve set over a bowl. Chop tomatoes coarsely.

Meanwhile as the dried tomatoes are soaking, in a saucepan cook onion & garlic in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add tinned tomatoes with their juice, the soaked dried tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste & simmer sauce, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

Puree sauce through the fine disk of a food mill or force it through a coarse sieve set over a bowl. You can make this sauce up to 1 week ahead & keep covered & chilled.

Make the Lasagna:

In a large skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat & sauté bell peppers, stirring, until crisp-tender. In a bowl stir together bell peppers & ricotta until well combined. In a steamer, steam the broccoli, covered, until crisp-tender, 3 – 5 minutes; stir into ricotta mixture; season to taste with salt & pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Pour 1 cup rich winter tomato sauce into a deep ceramic or glass baking dish (13 x 9 x 2”), sauce will not cover bottom completely, cover with 3 lasagna sheets, trying not to let them touch. Drop about 1 ½ cups ricotta mixture by spoonfuls onto pasta & gently spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with ¾ cup mozzarella & 1/3 cup Parmigiano over ricotta mixture & make 2 more layers in same manner, beginning & ending with the last of the pasta sheets. Spread remaining cup of tomato sauce over pasta, making sure pasta is completely covered; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella & Parmigiano.

Place a sheet of baking parchment over the lasagna, then a layer of foil; bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil & baking parchment & continue baking about 10 minutes more, or until top is bubbling. Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes to settle before serving.

The use of baking parchment, prevents the cheese from sticking to the foil & it helps keep the steam in to cook the lasagna.

You can find Scardillo Geniuna at most Italian grocery stores.

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Turkey and Eggplant Pastitsio

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

When we get a craving for Greek food in the fall and winter, there’s only one thing to be done, either Pastitsio (sort of a Greek macaroni and cheese) or moussaka …this is the macaroni and cheese favourite. The sauce can easily be made a day or two ahead and that’s what I do. I adapted the recipe from an old “Gourmet” magazine. You can use lamb, beef or veal but I wanted to “lighten” things up!

Makes 6 – 8 Servings

DSC_1715 nx2For the Turkey Sauce:

1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 lb. ground turkey
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pepperoncino (chili flakes)
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. eggplant, cut into ½” cubes
28 – 32 oz. tin crushed tomatoes

For the Cheese Sauce:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. unbleached flour
2 cups homogenized milk
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
1 whole garlic clove
½ lb. Greek feta cheese, crumbled, preferably Dodonis
¼ to ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten

For the Pasta:

10 oz. penne or ziti

Butter or spray with non-cooking spray a 3 quart baking dish & set aside.

Place the cubes of eggplant into a colander & salt with approximately 2 tsp. salt. Set the colander over a bowl to catch any drips & allow to stand up to 1 hour.

Heat approximately ¼ cup EVOO in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. In the meantime rinse the eggplant with cold water & drain on a large kitchen towel, pressing out any water. When the oil is hot/shimmering but not smoking, saute half the eggplant. When it is golden/lightly browned, remove to a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with a few layers of paper towels. Remove the eggplant from the pan onto the paper towels with a spider or slotted spoon & saute the remaining eggplant in the same way. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Wipe clean when cool and use to make the turkey sauce.

Make the Turkey Sauce:

Saute the onion in EVOO over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes or so. Raise the heat to medium-high & dd the turkey, saute, stirring & breaking up lumps until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute a minute or so add the peperoncino stir for 30 seconds then add the salt, oregano, cinnamon, sugar & pepper & saute, stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the eggplant & tomatoes & gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove lid & simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes longer; season with salt & pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Make the Cheese Sauce & Cook the Pasta:

While turkey sauce is simmering, make cheese sauce & cook the pasta.

If turkey sauce has been done ahead, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 – 2 Tbsp. salt then the pasta and cook until al dente or a couple of minutes less than when it is fully cooked. Drain & set aside.

Make the cheese sauce by melting butter in a 2 qt. heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then stir in flour & cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, add the garlic & the clove & bring to a boil, still over moderate heat. Reduce heat & simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes OR…see my microwave method for doing this bit.

Remove the garlic & the clove; add the feta, salt & pepper & cook, whisking well, until cheese is well incorporated. Gradually whisk the cheese sauce into the eggs by tablespoonfuls.

Toss half the pasta with the turkey sauce & the remaining half of the pasta with the cheese sauce.

Assemble the Pastitsio:

Pour the pasta with turkey sauce into the prepared baking dish. Spoon the pasta with cheese sauce over top, spreading evenly.

Bake pastitsio, uncovered, in middle of preheated oven until bubbling & top is golden, 25 – 30 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

**To see how do make the base for the cheese sauce in the microwave, click here.

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Mushroom Filled Ravioli

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Ahh…ravioli, a labour of love filled with mushroomy goodness accented with a bit of prosciutto, finished with a butter-prosciutto sauce and a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Makes Approximately 36 Ravioli

One 3 egg batch of homemade pasta dough**

DSC_6632 nx2For The Filling:

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ lb. Crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
2 oz. prosciutto, minced
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup whipping cream (or for an extra bit of deliciousness,
substitute 2 Tbsp. each ricotta & mascarpone cheeses for the cream)
3 Tbsp. Marsala wine

Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. cold water

Salt for cooking the ravioli

For the Sauce:

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced prosciutto
3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup freshly chopped Italian parsley

Make the Filling:

Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over high heat; add the mushrooms, prosciutto, shallots & pepper. Cook until almost no liquid remains in the pan, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes; add cream & Marsala & boil until almost no liquid remains.

**If using ricotta & mascarpone cheeses, add the Marsala to the mushroom mixture, boil until almost no liquid remains, remove pan from heat, cool for a few minutes; stir in the cheeses.

Season the mixture with salt; cool completely. The filling can be made the day before, cooled & refrigerated until approximately 1 hour before using.

The pasta dough should be rolled out, according to the instructions, to #6 or #7 depending on your pasta machine. It should be thin. I use a ravioli form with press to make them; it works very well so long as the form is floured well & you roll over the filled ravioli with a rolling pin, using a firm hand. Here’s a link on how to roll out & form the dough if you need to see how it is done.

Once you have laid a sheet of rolled out pasta dough over the form & used the press to create the “wells” for the filling; place tablespoons of filling in them so they are full to the top. Brush the sides & ends & between each ravioli with egg wash; place a second piece of rolled out dough on top, press down lightly, then, roll over the filled ravioli with a rolling pin so that the ravioli separate from each other.

Place the prepared ravioli on a floured rimmed baking sheet; continuing with the remaining dough in the same manner. I find it easier to roll out the sheets as I go because you don’t want the sheets to dry out at all.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 – 2 Tbsp. salt.

Meanwhile Make the Sauce:

Melt the butter in shall heavy saucepan over medium heat; add prosciutto & stir 1 minute; keep warm until ready to serve the ravioli

Add the ravioli to the pot of boiling salted water & boil for 5 – 6 minutes; remove using a spider or slotted spoon to individual warm serving bowls. You may need to cook the ravioli in two batches; if so, place a couple of tablespoons of the butter from the sauce into the bottom of a warm platter; remove the ravioli to the platter & spoon some of the butter on them so they don’t stick together; keep warm while cooking the remaining ravioli.

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Ragu Bolognese

I previously posted a recipe for the “official” sauce from Bologna. This version has the same basics but with the addition of beef stock and red wine. Some recipes use beef, pork and veal but I think the pancetta covers the pork part! Marcella Hazan’s recipe uses a little EVOO and butter, all beef, no pancetta, tinned tomatoes, nutmeg and tosses the sauce with the tagliatelle and a tablespoon of butter! Kind of puts me in mind of “spaghetti carbonara”. There’s the official version and then the adaptations that are not considered to be the real thing! Why not make a double batch so you can have some stashed in the freezer. Oh…fresh tagliatelle please, it’s considered bad form to use anything but! And please, no spaghetti here, otherwise the Bolognese police will come knocking on your door!

Makes 4 Servings

DSCN3304 nx2 pt22 Tbsp. EVOO
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
6 oz. ground beef (lean)
6 oz. ground veal
3 oz. finely chopped pancetta
½ cup dry red wine
3 cups beef stock
1 ½ Tbsp. double concentrated tomato paste (comes in a tube),
Otherwise, use 3 Tbsp. regular tomato paste
Sea or kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup homogenized milk, warmed before using
3 egg fresh tagliatelle or fettuccine** (l lb. pasta)
1 Tbsp. butter for tossing the pasta (opt.)

Finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving with the pasta

Heat the EVOO in a very large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery & carrots & sauté until soft, 8 – 10 minutes. Add the beef, veal & pancetta, breaking up the beef & veal with a fork, until browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste & sauté for a minute more; add the wine, boil 1 minute, stirring often & scraping up any browned bits. Add 2 ½ cups beef stock, stir to combine; bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low, gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavours come together, 1 ½ hours; season with salt & pepper to taste.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually stir into the meat sauce. Cover sauce, leaving lid slightly ajar & simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes, adding more stock by ¼ cupful’s to thin if necessary.

Heat a large pasta serving bowl in a warm oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 – 2 Tbsp. salt; add the tagliatelle & cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before it is al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Raise the heat under the ragu to medium; then transfer the drained pasta into the sauté pan, along with 1 Tbsp. butter, if using; tossing to combine; stirring in some of the reserved pasta cooking water by tablespoonful’s if the sauce seems dry. Place the pasta into the warmed serving bowl & serve immediately, passing the Parmigiano to sprinkle on the pasta.

The ragu can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover & keep chilled. Rewarm before using. Or you can freeze the sauce to use later.

If you would like to see the recipe for homemade tagliatelle, click Food Processor, Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.

If you wish to compare this recipe to the “Official” one, click “Official” Bolognese Sauce.

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