Massimo Mele’s Handmade Macaroni With Traditional Ragu Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Handmade Macaroni

  • 400g plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water –add as needed

Serves 4

Traditional Ragu Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 fresh bay leaves
  • 250g beef shin
  • 500g American style pork spare ribs
  • 2 large pork and fennel sausages
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 100ml of good quality red wine
  • 3 x 400g tins of passata
  • Salt and pepper
  • 125g of parmesan or pecorino grated

METHOD

Massimo’s five tips for making pasta at home

Step 1.
Use good quality flour and eggs – that gives you that beautiful orangey colour when making the pasta dough

Step 2.
Always use ingredients that are in season

Step 3.
Add salt to boiling water and use ten parts water to one part salt

Step 4.
Cook pasta in a large pot to allow space for your pasta to move

Step 5.
You will know that your handmade pasta is ready when it rises to the surface. Your pasta should be slightly chewy and be uniform in colour

Method Handmade Macaroni

Step 1.
To make the pasta dough, put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture begins to form a ball.

Step 2.
Add a little water if the dough is dry. Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a rough ball and begin to knead. To do so, press the dough down and push away from you. This will stretch the dough and give you an oval shape. Continue doing this for 5-10 minutes without adding too much pressure –it’s about the technique, not the strength of your hands. When the dough has reached a smooth consistency, set aside wrapped in glad wrap in the fridge and leave for 30 minutes.

Step 3.
To roll out the pasta cut a piece of pasta dough about 1cm and place on a wooden skewer and roll backwards and forwards until you have a long cylinder about two inches long. Make and set aside.
Tip: You can also make orecchiette using this pasta dough – just shape into a small ball and press down to make an indent with your thumb.

Traditional Ragu Sauce

Step 1.
Heat half of the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the beef, ribs and sausages and fry for a few minutes, turning frequently to brown well.

Step 2.
Remove the meat and set aside. Add the remaining olive oil followed by the onion, celery, bay leaves and cook until softened.

Step 3.
Add the meat back into the pot followed by the tomato paste. Cook for about one minute then add the red wine and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced slightly by half.

Step 4.
Add the passata to the pot and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees. Place a lid on top of the saucepan and cook in the oven for three hours. Every hour, remove the lid and give it a stir. If your oven seems to be drying the sauce out, then lower the temperature.

Step 5.
Once cooked, remove the meat from the pot and place onto a serving plate to keep warm. Separate all the meat from the bones and add the meat back into the sauce. With the sausages, chop these into pieces and add back to pot. Discard the leftover bones.

Step 6.
Cook the handmade pasta in salted boiling water for between 4 – 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir together ensuring the pasta is well coated. Season with salt, pepper and add fresh basil. Add half the grated pecorino and mix well.

To finish

To serve, ladle the pasta into four serving bowls, top with some of the meat and more pecorino if you wish.

Recipe by Massimo Mele, Electrolux

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