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Thursday, May 22, 2008

homemade pasta with veal ragu

pasta with veal ragu

I've been traveling a lot for work lately (yes, I sandbag -- cook a lot on the weekend and then blog from lonely hotel rooms later in the week), so being back in the kitchen this past weekend was so great. It didn't matter to me that it's 85 degrees in Atlanta and that I shouldn't be thinking about heavy, hot dishes like homemade pasta and rich meat sauce, but I couldn't help it. The fact that I'm here, and my pasta machine is here, and we haven't seen each other in so long... Hence this meal. I can't fully explain how great homemade pasta is, but if I had to quantify it I'd say it's approximately 500 times better than the stuff from the box. In hindsight I guess I should have fed the pasta sheets through the attachment to cut them more evenly, but I loved the wide hand-cut noodles that I made myself.

Grocery list: a pound of meat (I used 1/2 pound ground veal and 1/2 pound local ground sirloin), 1 (28 ounce) can of peeled whole roma tomatoes, white wine, heavy cream, onion, garlic, rosemary or oregano, 2 eggs, A/P flour.

pasta sheets

I've covered the whole process of making dough - mixing 1 1/2 cups A/P flour with 2 eggs and a couple of T water in a food processor, then kneading and rolling sections through the pasta machine to make sheets - so I'll just pick up here with the sheets of pasta. I learned the hard way that once you cut the noodles, do not allow them to touch each other for even a minute, or they'll stick together and be impossible to cook. I researched this a little more and apparently the only thing I missed was dusting the cut noodles with flour. Live and learn...

simple meat sauce

To make a deceptively simple and rich meat sauce (good for wide noodles like this), start by sauteing an onion and a few cloves of garlic for a couple of minutes in olive oil. Add the meat and brown. Mix in a couple of T of tomato paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of white wine, and cook until mostly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of cream, and cook down another 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushing each whole tomato by hand over the pan (I didn't put the juice in the pan, other than what came from crushing the tomatoes). Season with salt, pepper, and whatever fresh herbs you want to add for flavor, then simmer over low heat for as long as you can stand to wait.

cooking pasta

Cook the fresh pasta in boiling salted water (I added a little olive oil too to prevent sticking) for 2-3 minutes; drain and serve immediately with the sauce and grated parmesan.


Anonymous said...

Followed the recipe to the T. Except I cheated and used boxed Fet. It turned out really well even though I didn't have time for excessive simmering...It was definately better the following day. YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe.

KT said...

Awesome, I'm glad it worked for you! I've tried this with ground sirloin mixed with pork sausage, ground pork, and other combinations, and lots of them work. I think the trick is really the wine and the cream - it makes it taste like it's been simmering for hours even if it hasn't :)


Beana803 said...

I followed this recipe exactly as well. I wish I would have had more time to simmer, but it was awesome with the limited time I had. Thanks for the recipe!