Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fresh tagliatelli and Ragu Bolognese

Making pasta from scratch is the adult version of playing with Play Doh. You can roll it, cut it, extrude it. But unlike Play Doh, the best thing is,

you get to eat it.

Fresh Semolina Pasta


5 extra large eggs

3 1/2 cups semolina flour

2 ounces, more or less white wine


Put the flour in the bowl of  a food processor and pulse until the dough starts to come together - it will probably be very stiff and dry. Drizzle in the wine a little at a time, pulsing between additions until the dough forms a ball. You want eh dough to be pliable and elastic, not dry and crumbling or too sticky.

Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 1/2 hour before rolling and cutting.

I use a pasta machine to roll and cut the dough but you can use a rolling pin and sharp knife to roll the dough into sheets and cut into strips. After the noodles are cut, let them dry on an old sheet for about 20 minutes to an hour to prevent them from clumping. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them.

Bolognese sauce is rich and tomato is not the primary flavor, but a compliment to the meat and cream. I experimented with various recipes before coming up with this one. I use evaporated milk because it has the richness of heavy cream with less fat.

Ragu Bolognese


10 -14 oz salt pork (streak o lean)

1 1/4 pounds course ground chuck

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup of minced carrot

1/2 cup minced celery

1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth

1 cup crushed tomatoes

2 cups evaporated milk

plenty of fresh ground black pepper


Bring one quart of water to a boil and blanch the saltt pork for about 10 minutes.
Let cool and cut off the outer layer of skin. Cut into cubes and mince in the food processor.

Saute over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan until most of the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes.

Add the minced vegetables and saute until the onions are translucent.

Turn up the heat and add the ground beef and saute until the beef is browned but not crispy.

Add the tomatoes, wine and 1/2 tsp pepper and reduce the heat to a slow simmer.

Simmer for two hours, periodically adding two or three tables spoons of the evaporated milk and stirring until the milk is incorporated into the sauce. When all the milk has been added, simmer for an additional 10 minutes before serving tossed with fresh pasta. Don't over sauce the pasta. You just want the pasta to be coated in the sauce, not swimming in it.

No comments: