5 Hour Slow Cooked Lamb Ragù with Pappardelle

We eat pasta every week. I (Elisa) grew up eating pasta 3+ times a week. I can’t imagine my life without it. For Italian’s (especially a nonna!) love is putting food on the table and pasta is the perfect example of that.

 

We have several different pasta dishes we make and we can’t wait to share them all with you over time. Majority of our pasta dishes are incredibly simple and quick to make, with very few ingredients. This one would be our most ‘complex’ (and by complex I mean it’s just cooked for much longer with a few more ingredients. We promise it’s still easy to make!)

 

This Ragù recipe will serve at least 6-8, so if you are wanting to only serve 2-4 there will be plenty of leftovers!

Note: If you don’t want to make your own pasta you can use store-bought dried pasta. Just try and buy one that is made in/imported from Italy. You should be able to find Egg Pappardelle made with 100% durum wheat semolina at your local supermarket and deli.

 

If you are making fresh pasta allow 100g of flour and one egg per person for a main course-sized portion.

Ingredients for the fresh pasta

4 servings

  • 400g of 00 Flour (soft wheat flour)

  • 4 organic, free-range Eggs

Method

  • Tip the flour onto your bench/board in a heap. Use your fingers to make a well in the centre, making sure it’s not too wide.

  • Pour the eggs into the well and using a fork or your fingers, mix the eggs together until you have a non-clumpy looking liquid that falls smoothly from your fork.

  • With your fingers or fork start drawing around the inside of the flour wall so a small quantity of flour falls into the egg mixture. Whisk it in, gradually creating a batter. Repeat until you have a mixture that won’t run.

  • Once you’ve reached this point, cave in the flour walls and mix in the rest of the flour until a dough forms. It should feel soft and pillowy but not too sticky so add a spoon of flour if need be.

  • Knead the dough for no less than 10 minutes, using the heels of your hands to push the dough away from you, while your fingers pull it back. You want to work at a brisk pace so that the dough doesn’t dry out.

  • Your dough should feel silky and smooth. The dough should bounce back when you press your thumb into it.

  • Leave the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes in a bowl covered with cling-wrap or simple wrap the dough in cling-wrap. Leaving the dough to rest relaxes the gluten.

  • Once the dough is rested, flour your working surface before beginning to roll it out.

  • Flatten the dough with a rolling pin and being to roll it out turning it a few degrees at a time to keep it circular. If the dough is getting to large to roll out evenly, cut it into thirds. You want your pasta dough rolled out until you can see through it. Once you have reached this point let your pasta sheet rest for a couple of minutes before flouring it, rolling it up very gently (like a carpet) into a log and cutting it into pappardelle sized pieces. Then quickly and gently roll out each ribbon. (Pappardelle ribbons should be about 3cm width)

Ingredients for the Ragù

  • Olive Oil (extra-virgin)

  • 1kg Lamb Leg (no bone) cut into 5cm chunks

  • 2 brown Onions, finely chopped

  • 6 cloves of Garlic, chopped

  • 8 Cloves

  • Half a Cinnamon Stick

  • 150g quality Pancetta, cut into 3cmx1cm strips

  • Handful dried Porcini Mushrooms (re-hydrate them in hot water for 10 minutes, drain and keep 1/2 a cup of the water for later)

  • Tablespoon Tomato Paste

  • 2 Carrots, chopped

  • 1 Celery Heart, chopped

  • 700ml bottle of Passata

  • 3/4 bottle of Red Wine (e.g. Chianti or a similar Italian red)

  • Bunch of fresh herbs tied together with a string: Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Parsley, Bay Leaves

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Fresh Pappardelle or 1 packet of store-bought Pappardelle

  • Parmigiano Reggiano to serve, grated

Method

  • In a large saucepan/pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the chunks of lamb until brown. Remove the lamb from the pot and set-aside.

  • In the same pot add another tablespoon of olive oil and on low heat sweat the onion until translucent, adding a splash of water if it’s looking a little dry.

  • Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic, cloves and cinnamon and fry for a minute with a little more splash of olive oil.

  • Stir in the pancetta and porcini mushrooms until the pancetta slightly browns then add the tomato paste and sauté.

  • Add the Porcini water and simmer for a minute then add the carrot and celery, stirring to mix in.

  • Add the lamb and the passata, stirring for a minute. Refill the passata bottle with water and pour it into the pot.

  • Add 3/4 of a bottle of red wine, the bunch of herbs, pinch of salt and pepper, give everything a good stir then cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 4 and a half to 5 hours.

  • When the the sauce has reduced and the lamb easily falls apart, remove from heat and bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Once water is boiling, place the pappardelle into the boiling water and cook for roughly 2 minutes if using fresh home-made pasta, until al dente, or if using store-bought dried pasta follow the cooking time instructions on the packet and cook for a minute less than what it says so the pasta is al dente. Once al dente, drain the pasta and serve in pasta bowls with a generous amount of ragù, tossing them together and sprinkle with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano.

 

You will most likely have plenty of left over ragù, it’s even better the next day!

For any leftovers, divide into air tight containers and store in the freezer.