Fresh pasta slathered in melty short rib ragu sauce
Need I say more?
Lets just start off by saying… I love pasta… both the eating and making processes. But more the eating process because then you get to enjoy the slightly firm but chewy texture along with the delicious pasta sauces that it can be served with. I personally love wider pasta noodles such as tagliatelle and pappardelle. The increased noodle surface area allow these types of pasta to serve as amazing sauce vessels and provide a very satisfying mouth feel with each and every bite. Am I right or am I right?
The thought of making homemade pasta can be daunting, but it is really not that difficult at all. In fact, you can have fresh pasta ready in less than an hour and it tastes a million times better than dried pasta. Not knocking dried pasta at all – I love this stuff too but if you have an extra hour to spare and have a pasta machine handy, you’ll thank me once you’re enjoying every satisfying bite of homemade pasta. Plus, did I mention that it is also fun to make with others? Make some sauce, invite some friends or family over and put them to work! Once the dough is made, divide it up and then everyone can have a turn at making super long pasta sheets.
If you’re making homemade pasta, then you might as well make a killer sauce too… maybe you’d like to try this one? This short rib ragu is pretty tasty if you ask me, plus it earned complete house approval when we made it, so it is definitely a keeper! The sauce does take a bit of time to cook down but you don’t really need to watch it very closely at all. The original recipe is from the Food Network and you’ll notice that I didn’t blend my vegetables in a food processor as they had suggested. Instead I diced the onion very small, grated the carrot, crushed the garlic and sauted everything in the bacon fat as I felt that this would provide more flavor. By the end of the cooking process, the vegetables were soft, flavorful and had completely melted down.
Braised Beef Short rib Ragu with Pappardelle
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup bacon, diced
- 2lb short ribs
- Salt & ground pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes (whole or diced)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 3/4 cup red wine
- In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the bacon pieces and cook until golden brown.
- As the bacon is cooking, pat short ribs with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Season all sides with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour.
- Remove bacon bits from the pan and sear all sides of the short ribs in the bacon fat until deep golden brown. Place ribs onto a plate once completely seared and set aside
- With the remaining bacon fat, saute diced onions and cook until just softened. Add in carrots, garlic, and parsley and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in bacon and cook until the onions are slightly browned. Transfer the short ribs back into the pot.
- Add in the canned tomatoes (including juice), tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bayleaf, beef broth, and wine. Ensure the beef is well submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Continue to simmer the sauce uncovered for another hour and a half or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally. After about an hour, cut the meat into smaller pieces to increase the exposed surface area of the meat – it should be slightly tender but still chewy at this point.
- After an hour and a half to two hours of uncovered simmering, the sauce should have reduced to about a third of the original liquid volume and the beef should be very tender. Discard the bones and bay leaf. As the pasta is cooking, add in a splash of the pasta water to the sauce.
If you’re planning to use fresh pasta in this recipe, I would suggest to start the pasta dough at step 6, once you uncover the sauce.
Fresh Pasta (serving for 4)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Create a well in the centre.
- Add eggs and oil into the well. With your hands, start to swirl the eggs around the center and slowly start to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture. Once most of the flour is absorbed, transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you have a mixer with a dough hook attachment, you can use it to knead the dough as well. Once kneaded, the dough should feel flexible but not sticky – add small amounts of flour if needed to reach this consistency.
- Wrap the dough in saran wrap and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, up to an hour.
- Divide the dough into four pieces. Follow the instructions on your pasta maker to achieve long flat pieces of pasta – I use a kitchen aid pasta attachment and stop at the #5 setting.
- On a lightly floured surface, fold the piece of pasta a few times and slice it to about 3/4″ thick (Based on the width of the pasta sheets produced from the kitchen aid pasta maker, cutting the pasta into 6 slices was the perfect noodle width). Unroll and set on a baking sheet. Dust with more flour to prevent sticking.
- To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add in the fresh pappardelle noodles, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Cook for about 2 minutes or until al dente. Drain and toss in olive oil. Serve with your delicious pasta sauce
This pasta is best enjoyed with a bottle of red wine, good company, and copious amounts of freshly grated parmesan cheese!