Linguine with beef ragu

Linguine with beef ragu

By
From
More Home Comforts
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

I’ve said throughout this book that I’ve learnt so much from so many chefs throughout my travels, and a classic Italian ragu is one example. The essence of all Italian cooking is top-quality ingredients; gently cooking over a period of time creates this wonderful dish. Finish cooking the linguine in the ragu itself; this is definitely not dry ‘spag bol’ with a dollop of sauce over the top. By mixing it in, each spoonful tastes as good as the last. I love my pasta machine, but you can roll the pasta by hand – or cheat and buy fresh pasta.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For James’s pasta

Quantity Ingredient
1kg ‘00’ flour
1kg semolina flour
12 eggs

For pasta made the usual way

Quantity Ingredient
300g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
3 eggs

For the ragu

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
200g smoked bacon lardons
500g minced beef
2 tablespoons tomato puree
400g tin chopped tomatoes
150ml red wine
a handful basil leaves, roughly torn
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. To make pasta my way, tip the flours and eggs into a large pasta machine, turn on and leave until the mixture has a breadcrumblike texture. Turn the extruder on and let the pasta push out to form linguine.
  2. To make pasta the usual way, place the flour on a work surface, make a well in the centre, then crack the eggs into the well and gradually draw in the flour to form a sticky dough. Keep working it until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  3. Alternatively, place the flour and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms small crumbs. Tip out onto a work surface and squish into a ball, then knead for a few minutes until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  4. Lightly flour the business end of a pasta machine. Cut the pasta into three equal pieces and flatten out to about 1cm thick. Starting at the lowest (thickest) setting, feed the dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and holding the dough as it comes through the machine with the other.
  5. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next-thinnest setting, flour it again and feed the pasta sheet through the machine again, as before.
  6. Repeat this process three or four more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down each time until the last-but- one setting. Fold the pasta over into a manageable size, then cut through it lengthways to form strips about 3mm thick. Hang over a clean broom handle or the back of a chair so that the pasta can dry slightly while you make the ragu.
  7. Heat a large sauté pan or casserole dish until hot. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic, and sweat for a couple of minutes. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the bacon and fry for 1 minute. Add the beef mince and fry until just browned through.
  8. Add the tomato purée, cook for 1 minute, then add the tinned tomatoes and red wine and bring to a simmer. Add half the basil, stir well and cook for 45 minutes until tender and thickened. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the last of the basil.
  9. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 3–4 minutes until tender. Drain and add to the pan of ragu, toss well and serve with Parmesan sprinkled over the top.
Tags:
Home Comforts
British food
classic recipes
indulgent
winter
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