There’s nothing quite like a hearty, melt-in-your-mouth meat ragu over some freshly-made pasta. It’s not only comforting but a wonderful treat for the family. And if you’re entertaining, you can get this ready hours beforehand. We decided to try out a pork ragu, but I’m sure you can substitute it for beef if you prefer. Ready?
Let’s start with the Pork Ragu because that’s going to take a few hours to simmer.
Begin by seasoning the pork with salt and pepper.
Then, heat olive oil over medium high heat and cook pork in oil for 10 minutes or until well browned on all sides.
Transfer this to a separate dish and pour off rest of oil leaving 1 tbsp behind.
Fry onions in remaining oil for about 5 minutes, stirring until onion is soft. Then add garlic, and stir for another minute.
Once browned, reduce heat to medium.
Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until darkened slightly and changes to dark reddish-brown colour.
Add in a splash of naughty (wine or vodka) and stir so nothing sticks to the pan.
Now it’s time to stir in the crushed tomatoes and herbs as well as chicken broth and stir till uniform before adding in the pork.
At this point reduce heat to low and cover to simmer for 2-3 hours till pork is fork tender. Make sure to keep the heat low and stir from time to time to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn or stick to the pan. If it starts to get thick, add chicken stock and water.
When the meat starts getting soft, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces.
Now let’s prepare the pasta!
Start with the plain flour in a mixing bowl. Create a well like so.. and add the eggs into it.
Mix and beat eggs with fork or finger until fluffy before combining mixture to form a sticky dough.
Knead until dough becomes firm and smooth and no longer sticks to your hands.
Leave to sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the pasta machine. We got a new one by Marcato and this is our first time breaking into it!
When working with the rested dough, you want to pass it through the pasta machine at its widest setting a few times to get the gluten working again for a firm texture. Pass it through the machine, fold and pass it through again. Once its the texture you like, keep passing it through the machine, moving it one notch narrower each time until you get a very flat almost 1mm thickness. Keep in mind pasta thickens slightly upon cooking, so we don’t want it too thick.
Quick Tip: We started off with setting 1 on the machine before gradually increasing to 5. If you prefer thicker pasta, you can stop at 4.
Once it’s the thickness you like, it’s time to pass it through the cutter. I’d previously done a Papardelle by hand, but today we’re going to try both the Fettuccine and Tagliolini with the machine. And they turned out beautifully!
Let the freshly-cut pasta dry for about 15 minutes or so. Then, just cook for 5 minutes or till al dente in salty water.
Once ready, stir it into the pork ragu sauce and serve onto plates.
And what’s a hearty pasta dish without luscious melted cheese. We went with parmigiano for a little bit of sharpness to cut the richness of the pork.
And there you have it! After all that hard work, it’s time to stuff face. Bon Apetit!