Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pappardelle al Ragù

Think of pappardelle as really wide fettucine.  Unlike its thinner sibling, pappardelle goes best with chunky, meaty sauces.  Here in Tuscany, it is common to see pappardelle in restaurants served with a wild boar ragù.  However, wild boar is much less accessible than Italian sausage - which I used for this sauce.  Becky rolled the pasta slightly thicker than that of fettucine which complimented the heartiness of the sauce perfectly.

  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 c. Chianti
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh pasta dough (see recipe)
  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil for a couple minutes
  2. Remove the sausage from its casing (if it has any), chop it up and toss it in the pan
  3. Once the sausage has browned, add the tomatoes and wine, mixing well
  4. Make a few turns of freshly ground black pepper to the sauce
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 - 20 minutes or until saucification is complete
  6. While the sauce is simmering, you can begin rolling out the pasta dough into a large sheet.  Make sure that you are following the flour, roll, flip, repeat method so as to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling surface and rolling device
  7. After you have rolled out the dough into the desired thickness, you should have a decent sized sheet of pasta
  8. Flour the top of the pasta sheet once more, making sure to evenly spread the flour to all corners
  9. Gently roll the sheet into a snake and place it on a cutting board
  10. Using a non-serated knife, segment the snake into 1/2" pieces.  These pieces will unroll into long, (relatively) straight pappardelle noodles
  11. Toss the unrolled noodles with flour so they do not stick together
  12. The fresh noodles will take only 2 - 3 minutes to cook
  13. Add the cooked noodles to the sauce and gently mix with tongs
  14. Serve immediately with a fresh grating of parmesan cheese

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