Handmade Fettuccine with Slow-Cooked Lamb Ragu

Serving 4-6 people

For the ragu…

A ½ leg of lamb, still on the bone, at room temp

300g smoked lardons

2 shallots, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 large carrot, peeled, cut in half lengthways & sliced into half circles

1 bulb of fennel, roughly diced

A generous handful of fresh mint, chopped

A bunch of fresh thyme, leaves pulled from the stems

3 bushy sprigs of fresh rosemary, removed from the stems & finely chopped

A generous handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

½ a glass of Italian red wine

1½ tins of chopped tomatoes

1-2 tbsp vegetable puree

500ml good quality chicken stock

½ tbsp mint sauce

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Shaved pecorino to serve

 

For the pasta…

300g ’00’ flour

100g semolina

8 duck yolks

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

 

Method…

Pre-heat the oven to 150c.

Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large, deep pan and sear the lamb on each side, enhancing the flavour of the meat. Now set aside on a plate and add the smoked lardons, shallots, carrot, fennel, garlic and fresh herbs to the same pan, stirring for a few minutes until softened. Add in the red wine and cook for a further two minutes.

Next add in the tinned tomatoes, stock, vegetable puree and mint sauce and allow to bubble for a minute, then turn the heat down to a simmer and add the lamb back in, spooning the sauce over the top to moisten the meat. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for three hours, turning the lamb over half way through cooking.

 

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*Later on, when the three hours is up* remove the lamb from the pan and ease the meat off the bone using a fork. Discard the bone and any fatty bits, add the meat back into the sauce and stir through. Note, if the sauce is a little loose you can reduce this over the hob before adding the lamb back in, bearing in mind that the shredded lamb with thicken it up considerably anyway.

 

Onto the pasta…

Combine the flour and semolina in a bowl, creating a well in the centre. To the well, add the yolks, olive oil and water and whisk together with a fork. As you whisk, the sides of the well will start to fall in and combine with the yolks. When a sticky dough has formed and you can no longer whisk, use your hand to bring the rest of the mixture together.

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If you have some flour mixture left over and the dough won’t take it, do not fret, you can use this for dusting your work surface and pasta roller. If your dough feels overly tough and crumbly, add a little more water.

When your dough has come together into a firm ball, knead it for five to ten minutes on a floured surface until smooth but still relatively firm. Cut it into manageable sized balls for rolling, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for half an hour.

Rolling! Flatten your dough first with a rolling pin before passing it through your machine on the thickest setting, two or three times. Now pass it twice through the second and third thickest settings. You’ll have a sheet which you can fold in half and take back through the thickest setting. Repeat this process three times and on the third go, you can continue to roll your pasta sheet through the fourth and fifth thickest settings. The fifth thickest on my machine is usually enough for making pasta ribbons. This is roughly just over one millimetre thick and has a satisfactory level of bite to it when cooked, without being too chewy.

Cut the sheets into ribbons, roughly two centimetres thick using a pasta cutter or a large knife. Hang the ribbons up to dry out as you go, you can use a wire cooling rack for this. The ribbons can be left to dry out until your ragu is cooked.

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When the ragu is finished and you are ready to eat, drop the pasta into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for no longer than two minutes. Drain immediately, then add back into the pan and coat the ribbons in a generous amount of olive oil to stop them from sticking together.

Serve the pasta on a large flat dish and top with the hot ragu. Have some fresh garden peas and a bowl of pecorino shavings at hand!

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