CLASSIC pasta pappardelle with red wine and meat ragu








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If you can't get boar, and do not want to do rabbit or hare, here is a hearty sauce totally in keeping with the sauce needs of the wide pappardelle noodle.

for the sauce:

  • one ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • one cup very hot water
  • one quarter cup olive oil
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • two ounces of thinly sliced pancetta, finely diced
  • two stalks celery, finely diced
  • two medium carrots, finely diced
  • one medium onion, finely diced
  • three sprigs fresh thyme
  • one pound ground beef
  • one pound ground turkey (or chicken)
  • one cup red wine
  • two cups imported canned Italian plum tomatoes, with some juice; roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one tablespoon butter

In a bowl with the hot water, add the porcini. Let soak for fifteen minutes. Then remove the porcini, save the liquid. Squeeze the porcini dry, and roughly chop them

In a heavy casserole, add the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the onion and saute for a minute. Add the porcini, pancetta, celery, carrot and thyme and cook over a medium high heat for three to four minutes, when the vegetables should start to brown.

Add the ground beef and turkey, a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper, and saute until there is no pink in the meat - totally browned -- about four to five minutes. While sauteeing, constantly work with a wooden spoon to break up the meat into as small pieces as possible.

Add the red wine and boil until reduced about a half, approximately three minutes. Add the tomatoes and liquid and pour in the reserved porcini liquid until you get to the sediment in the porcini liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat, uncovered, for twenty minutes. The sauce should now be fairly thick but still somewhat liquid.

Get five quarts of water up to a boil.  Add one tablespoon of salt. Add the pappardelle. Cook until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta liquid. Then drain.

Re-heat the sauce if necessary. Add the pappardelle and stir. Add the butter and stir again. Add the parmesan and taste for salt and pepper, and stir once again. Serve with a parsley garnish.



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