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PAPPARDELLE CON RAGÙ GENOVESE (Tomatoless ragù with pappardelle)

Beautiful recipe from the TV series ‘Cook like and Italian’ by Essteele’s ambassador Silvia Colloca.

Serves 4–6

Ingredients:

  • 21/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small brown or white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 300 g chuck steak, cut into large? chunks  
  • 300 g beef cheeks cut into chunks
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 800 ml water
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 g pappardelle

To Serve

  • grated parmigiano

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until softened.  

Add the meat (in batches if needed so you don’t overcrowd the pan) and brown well all over.  

Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any bits caught on the base, and cook out the alcohol for 3–4 minutes.  

Add the water and season to taste (don’t over season at this point as the long, slow cooking process will intensify the flavours).  

Cover and cook over low heat for 4–6 hours (or even 8 hours, if you can!). You know the sauce is ready when the meat falls apart, and the sauce is dark red and has left a coating on the side of the pan. Leave the sauce in the pan overnight to allow the flavours to mingle and settle, if you have time, or eat straight away,

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the pasta and stir well, then cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente.  

Meanwhile, heat up the sauce, breaking up the meat with a fork if you need to.  

Use tongs to transfer the pappardelle to a large serving platter, dragging along a little pasta cooking water, then top with the ragú and toss well. Make sure the noodles are perfectly coated in the sauce.  

Finish with a sprinkling of parmigiano and serve hot.