i've always wished i was italian. the language, the landscape, the food, the fashion - there are just so many things to love. making fresh pasta is something i've only recently started to do and it makes me feel a little more italian than i actually am. i got a pasta machine about a year ago and it's so much fun to make the dough, let it rest and crank it through to make beautiful little noodles. you can make noodles in the morning, throw them in a ziploc bag in the freezer and then plop them in salted boiling water for dinner. this ragu is tasty over fresh fettuccine or some cheesy polenta and makes a hearty meal for a cold winter evening.

Beef Short Rib Ragu

4 oz pancetta, diced
2 tbs olive oil
2 lbs beef short ribs
2 carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled & roughly chopped
1/2 cup parsley
4 cloves garlic
1 lb 12 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
in a large heavy pot, brown pancetta in olive oil until crisp. remove with a slotted spoon and add short ribs. season well with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. meanwhile, in a food processor pulse carrots, onion, parsley and garlic until coarsely chopped. add to short ribs and cook 1 minute until fragrant. add reserved pancetta, tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, wine and water and bring to a boil. reduce and simmer for 2 hours covered. remove short ribs and shred the meat, discarding the bones. return meat to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh Egg Pasta Dough

1 lb 6 oz flour
6 eggs
place flour on a board or in a bowl. make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it. beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. mix the flour and eggs together a little at a time, taking flour from the center without breaking the well. with well floured hands, knead the dough until it's nice and smooth. wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour before rolling out.


Ash said...

La dolce vita!

Anna said...

I have been dying to make my own pasta - preferrably ravioli. Let's have a pasta party! I'll bring wine, you bring knowledge :-)

capo sud said...

I'm proud when I meet people who love Italy, my country. Can I suggest you Sicily for an holiday?
If you want to taste some Sicilian flavour, try this: fettuccine, made with your pasta machine, whit scampi, orange and pistachio.
Recipe: Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan, cook about 5 minute seafood like “scampi” or shrimp, add white wine and let evaporate. Meanwhile cook pasta, drain and pour in the pan, stir well and decorate with orange zest and chopped pistachios. It’s a very good dish, fragrant and beautiful to see. If you want to see some pictures, or you need some explication, let me know. Ciao