Ragù with Fresh Egg Fetuccini
I made the decision long ago to leave the meat to the man, I’ve never really liked cooking meat and though I am not a vegetarian, I don’t eat a lot of red meat, nor am I a fan. Every once in a while I will eat it with pleasure and the job of cooking it is my husband’s. He makes a wonderful ragù bolognese and for Easter (this post is waaaay past due) we decided to celebrate by making fresh egg fettuccine with his ragù.
Making pasta is a lot of fun when you are doing it in company, I’ve made it alone, it seems to be too much work for one person, at least for this one person. It also takes a lot less time with an extra set of hands. We cut the strips of pasta ourselves with a knife instead of using the setting on our pasta machine for fettuccine, making them beautifully uneven.
Mario Batali’s Basic Pasta Dough from from Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 5 large eggs
Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden board. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs.
Using a fork, beat the eggs together and then begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). When half of the flour is incorporated, the dough will begin to come together. Start kneading the dough, using primarily the palms of your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, set the dough aside and scrape up and discard any dried bits of dough.
Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 10 minutes, dusting the board with additional flour as necessary. the dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.
When you unwrap the dough it will have softened – that is what you want, so do not be tempted to knead it into tension before rolling it out.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces, and wrap 3 of them again in plastic or just cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel. Flatten the piece of dough in a burger shape that is somewhat thicker in the middle and about ¼ inch thick at the edges. Set the rollers of the pasta machine to the widest setting. Dust the rollers with a bit of flour to be sure they are completely dry, and make sure there aren’t any bits of dried dough from last time. Using one hand, crank the handle to start the rollers, and feed the dough in with your other hand. As the flattened piece of dough emerges, catch it gently with a flat palm so as not to tear it. Fold the dough into thirds, flatten it slightly with your palms, and roll it out again. Repeat this process 5 times, then set the rollers to the next-thinnest setting and repeat the folding and process 6 times. At the third setting, repeat the process only 3 times, since the dough will be becoming more delicate. If the pasta sheet becomes too long to work with easily, cut it into 2 pieces and continue. As you work, dust the pasta sheet with a tiny pinch of flour only if it seems to be sticking – too much flour will dry out the dough. Roll the dough out through the progressively thinner settings, without folding it again, until you have reached the thinnest or next-to-thinnest setting, depending on the specific recipe. Do not pull the sheets of pasta out of the machine; rather, support each one lightly underneath as it emerges from the machine.
Sprinkle some flour on a dish towel and roll up the sheet of pasta loosely. With a sharp knife, cut the rolled up sheet to the width of your liking. Unroll the ribbons of pasta onto a floured dish towel and allow to dry for about an hour. Layer with other floured dishtowels and the rest of the pasta.
Mico’s Ragù Bolognese
- 3 Italian sausages, casings removed
- ½ lb of ground beef
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup of white wine
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp butter
- grated parmigiano reggiano
Heat butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pot. Add onions, carrots and celery and let cook until the onions are transparent, stirring frequently. Mash the ground beef and the sausages together and add to the pot. Brown the meat and when it is cooked through add the white wine. Add the tomato paste and 1 cup of water to dilute. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally and adding water as the ragù starts to dry out, allow to simmer for at least 3 hours.
After the ragù has simmered for at least 3 hours and you are ready to eat, fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Drop the fettuccine into the boiling water and cook until tender, 2 minutes. Ladle a few spoonfuls of ragù into a large serving bowl. Drain the pasta. Toss with ragù, add more ragù as needed. Plate the pasta topping with a small spoonful of ragù and serve immediately with grated parmigiano reggiano.
One Year Ago: Penne with Zucchini, Roasted Tomatoes and Pistachios, Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Lemon, Celery and Carrots, Red Beans and Rice, Ziti with Artichokes and Swordfish, Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, Mediterranean Beet and Yogurt Salad, Marion Square Farmers Market, Charleston, SC, Collard Greens alla Italiana, & Baked Fish in Salsa di Agrumi