Pappardelle With Piedmontese Ragù & Pecorino Fondue
by Renato De Pirro , Chef , Ristorante Cavour, Houston, Texas
This authentic ragu sauce combines perfectly with the rich, pronounced flavor of creamy pecorino for the perfect pasta dish. Homemade pasta takes it over the top, but store-bought pappardelle works great in a pinch.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 carrot, minced
- 1 rib celery, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 pounds Certified Piedmontese ground beef
- ¾ cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in the bottom of a pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables, garlic, and rosemary and cook until soft and translucent. Add the meat and allow to cook until the meat is dry and starts sticking to the pan. Add the wine and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, cloves, bay leaf, and vegetable stock. Allow to simmer until the meat and sauce are unified (about 1½ hours at low heat), stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper during the last five minutes of cooking.
- Pecorino Fondue
- 8 ounces semi-fresh Pecorino cheese (or substitute Parmesan or Asiago)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
Place all ingredients in a pot over low heat and let melt, stirring with a whisk, until creamy.
- Homemade Pappardelle
- 1 pound all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
Make the dough: Sift flour on a large work surface and make a well in the center. Place the eggs, olive oil and a pinch of salt into the well; with a fork, break up the eggs, then gradually mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until combined.
Knead by hand: Gather the dough into 2 equal-sized balls; flour the surface. To knead each piece, push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over itself and turn it counterclockwise. Continue pushing, folding, and turning until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes.
Rest the dough: Pat each piece into a ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and dust with flour. Starting in the middle, push away from you with a rolling pin, easing up on the pressure as you approach the edge. Continue rolling the dough into a sheet, turning occasionally, until you can see your fingers through the bottom. Let dry about 10 minutes.
Cut the pappardelle: Dust the top of the sheet of dough with flour and loosely roll it into a cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut into ¾-inch-wide slices. Unwrap the pappardelle; dust with flour and gently toss to separate. Place on a sheet pan and cover with a tea towel until ready to cook.
Cook pappardelle in boiling, salted water until al dente, then toss with ragù sauce. Place fondue at the bottom of the plates and top with pappardelle and ragù.
Pairing: Chianti, Brunello, or Supertuscan