Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner

This Valentine's day we decided to be a bit budget-friendly and avoid any high-priced/small-portioned prixe fixe menus. I've been wanting to try making fresh pasta at home, and also just love a good Italian meal as a treat (complete with DiBruno Brothers cheese, sopprassata, and other marinated goodies), so we decided to try this recipe for lamb and pork ragu to accompany some homemade pappardelle. The pasta was the hardest part just because of the manual labor it required of Scott to knead and roll out the dough, which would've been better if we could've gotten it rolled thinner (or had a pasta maker). Here's the recipe for the ragu, which was pretty easy and so delicious.

Daddy's little helper

Pappardelle hanging to dry

Good Eats!

Pappardelle with Ragu (from Braises and Stews, by Tori Ritchie)

  • 1 lb boneless lamb stew (trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 lb boneless pork stew (trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-28oz can and 1-14.5oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb pappardelle pasta
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • grated parmesan cheese
Sprinkle cubed meat with kosher salt. Coat bottom of 5-7 quart dutch oven with olive oil and heat on medium/high heat until oil shimmers. Add enough meat to cover bottom of the pot in 1 layer and cook, without stirring, util meat lifts easily from pot with tongs and is well browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer meat to a plate and continue cooking the rest of the meat in batches.
When last batch is removed, drain off all but about 1 tbsp fat from pot. Add pancetta and cook until fat renders off, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring to release brown bits. Return meat to pan along with any accumulated juices. Stir in paprika. Add tomatoes and bay leaf and let come to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat falls into shreds when pushed with the side of a spoon, about 21/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let stand while you cook the pasta.
Serve over fresh cooked pappardelle with chopped parsley and grated parmesan.


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