Oh, the joy of fresh pasta. Or more specifically: of pasta you have made with your own hands, and eaten, in the afternoon, in Italy with a large glass of wine.
What always strikes me about Italian cooking is the simplicity. To create the pasta, we just used OO flour, and and egg (and a lot of elbow grease). Food 52 has a solid tutorial for those who are not already pros.
Technically, we made a bolognese. But this was the simplest bolognese I have ever tasted. The sauce was just celery, onion, carrot, beef, and crushed tomatoes (with a pinch of salt).
It can be easy to get distracted when making a sauce. The French are the masters of sauces, which peasants literally created to distract from lesser-quality food. But here, the ingredients are so quality that to cover up any one of their voices would be a shame. This simple recipe really helped me focus on the quality of the ingredients, even if they are all just blending together.
Drying the noodle-nests
For the pasta:
3 large eggs
300 grams sifted, OO flour
See this recipe for a breakdown on the process.
For the Sauce:
4 tablespoons olive oil
One stalk celery
One pound high quality beef
Salt to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan until simmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery and and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil to the saucepan and heat until just simmering. Add the beef and cook over moderately high heat until just barely pink, about 5 minutes. Return the vegetable mixture to the saucepan.
After the pasta has cooked (2 minutes for fresh pasta!), gently lift it into the sauce pan. Add starchy water slowly while stirring, coating every piece.
Serve with a nice red from Tuscany.
Buon Appetito from Your Pocket Somm! – Margaux