Ragù is one of those sauces that is common throughout Italy, with every Italian cook having their own twist on the basic recipe. However, it wasn’t until after Napoleon invaded northern Italy in 1796 that maccheroni, as pasta was known at that time, began to be served with a meat sauce. Up until that time, maccheroni was more likely to be cooked and served in a meat broth. It was the French in Emilia Romagna who first combined their rich meat stew, ragoût, with pasta. The first documented recipe for a meat sauce served with pasta is from the end of the 18th century. Ragù di maccheroni, was prepared and recorded by Alberto Alvisi, the cook to the Cardinal of Imola.
This recipe for Pappardelle al Ragù di Carne is from the excellent cookbook, Piatti Chiari, by Tiziana Falorni, who runs the restaurant, Alla Piazza di Sopra in Filleto, together with her talented daughters Chiara and Laura. If you’d like a copy of the recipe book, it is available directly from the restaurant and in bookshops in Lunigiana. You can also buy it online at Amazon.it and other online booksellers in Italy.
Pappardelle al ragù di carne
250g lean minced beef
100g lean minced pork
1 stick of celery
1 tablespoon of concentrated tomato paste
750g passata/chopped tomatoes in sauce
2 bay leaves
1 glass of red wine
garlic to taste
a pinch of chilli powder
- Chop the onion, garlic, parsley, celery and carrot and fry gently in olive oil in a saucepan
- Add the minced beef, minced pork and the meat from the sausage
- When the meat begins to brown, add the wine and simmer until the alcohol has burnt off
- Add the tomato paste, passata, bay leaves, chilli powder and half a glass of water
- Put the lid on the saucepan and simmer on a low heat for about three hours, checking occasionally
- Cook the pasta and serve with the ragù.
Serve with Vermentino Nero Terenzuola
Ristorante Alla Piazza di Sopra
Piazza Immacolata 11
Filetto, Villafranca in Lunigiana, MS
Telephone 0187 493796/Cell 349 8783364
Open Tuesday to Sundays for lunch and dinner.
Pappardelle al Ragù di Carne appeared on Ciao Lunigiana on 12 April 2015