Last year, I bought myself a pasta machine and started making fresh pasta. It had been one of my foodie goals for a long time and I can now say, I’m a pro at making everything from ravioli to tortellini to spaghetti all’amatriciana.
But in my pasta making craze, I went straight from homemade hand cut pasta (the simplest dish being Cacio e Pepe) to the more intricate filled pastas. There’s a world in between of fettuccine, tagliatelle, linguine etc. and some great dishes involving each!
Fun fact: there are three sizes within the fettuccine noodle family… you’ve got fettuccelle, fettuccine, and then fettucce, going from 1/8 inch to ¼ to ½ inch respectively. #themoreyouknow
Anyway, within this broad spectrum of Italian noodle possibilities is one of my favorites, pappardelle, which is often paired with a meat ragu and sprinkled with grated cheese! It’s one of my favorite dishes and having decided to go back to my simpler hand made pasta roots, thought I’d try my hand at this during the holiday season. It’s the perfect comfort food dish!
I’ve made a Bolognese sauce once before which was amazing, but this time I decided to try a lamb ragu. This holiday season, I was all about lamb apparently (this was the first dish of a few which involved this particular protein).
For the foodie geek in me, I learned that pappardelle in Italian means to “gulp down” and the noodles are commonly 5/8 inch (though I didn’t measure my noodles by any means).
While a pasta machine helps tremendously, you could roll out the pasta sheets by hand and then cut your pasta strips just the same.
And here you have, fresh pappardelle with lamb ragu sprinkled with a good helping of parmesan! It’s an easy entry into making homemade pasta and perfect for cold winter nights.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 1½ pounds ground lamb
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup dry red wine
- One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1¼ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- ¾ pound pappardelle
- In a large cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add the lamb, coriander, fennel, cumin, rosemary and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the stock and bring to a boil.
- Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, 25 to 30 minutes.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, shaking well. Add the pasta to the sauce. Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with parmesan.