Tagliatelle Al Ragù

I live in a dimension where Spaghetti Bolognese does not exist and invite you to join me.

A few things.

Use white wine – red is too strong. Cook with white, drink with red.

Consider making a double batch and freezing some to use later. It takes a while so it’s nice to have a stash.

If you’re really into making pasta like I am buy yourself a spider. This recipe calls for one, but you can always use a regular colander.

Ingredients

Pasta :

300g Italian 00 Flour

3 eggs

Ragu Sauce :

45g butter

3 tbsp olive oil

200g lardons or finely chopped streaky bacon

1 medium white onion

2 stalks celery

2 medium carrots

500g minced beef

350ml dry white wine

150ml full fat milk

1 bay leaf

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

400g tin tomatoes, roughly chopped

Tag.  Place the flour in a food processor. With the motor running add the eggs and process until a dough forms. Tip out onto a clean work surface and knead, without adding any flour, until smooth and springy. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Cover the dough in cling film and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days in the fridge. When you’re ready to roll cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, and roll to the thinnest setting on your pasta maker. Cut into ribbons about 6mm thick. Hang them up to dry. Either use right away or freeze in Ziploc bags or eco-friendly alternative for later use.

Rag. Put the celery, onion and carrot in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until a paste forms.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crisp. Add the onion, celery and carrot paste and cook until it has reduced and deepened in colour, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick. With the heat on very low, add the beef to the pan, by bit.  At this stage we only cook it enough to lose its red colour. Add the wine, turn up the heat and cook until it has evaporated. Lower heat to medium, add the milk, nutmeg and bay leaf, and stir until the milk has evaporated. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and leave to simmer gently – just one or two bubbles at any given time – for at least 90 minutes, or up to 3 hours depending on how concentrated you want it.

Put your hands together. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the tagliatelle until very al dente, remove with a spider and leave to finish cooking in the ragu sauce. Add more pasta cooking water if need be. Serve with lashings of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.