Ivan Barone – Executive Chef at NAMO Italian Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City
This classic Italian ragout is a great dish for a dinner party as it can be prepared in advance, and served in as little or big portions as necessary.
Pici is a type of hand-rolled pasta that originates from Tuscany and is typically made from flour and water only – no eggs. Think of it like spaghetti’s longer, thicker cousin.
If you haven’t tried making your own pasta before, grease your elbows (not literally) and give this pici pasta a go. But if you’d rather purchase fresh pasta from a gourmet grocer to accompany the delicious ragout, we won’t tell anyone.
For the pici (Makes around 10 portions)
- 1kg of “00” flour (all-purpose it’s also fine)
- 500g of water
- 40g of olive oil
For the ragout (Makes around 20 portions)
- 125g of carrots
- 125g of onions
- 125g celery
- 10g of garlic
- 300g of beef
- 300g of pork
- 300g of pork sausage
- 500ml of white wine
- 2L of beef or pork gravy. Chicken broth is also fine but will not give enough flavour and colour to
- 150ml of olive oil
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- Salt and black pepper
- Parmigiano to taste
For the pici
Mix the flour and water together inside the dough machine. Slowly add olive oil and continue to mix until you’ll have a consistency dough.
Rest the dough covered with a cloth, for 15-20 minutes.
Flatten the dough with a roller pin.
Start to cut and shape the pasta into a long round noodle form, using your hands and rolling the dough with your fingers. (This video from Brooklyn Pasta Lab demonstrates the cutting and rolling technique.)
Portion the pasta into the preferred size (usually 100g) and store them in the fridge. Use some semolina flour between each noodle in order to avoid them sticking to each other.
You can also store these in the freezer and keep them frozen for up to 20 days.
For the ragout
Using the same quantity of beef, pork and pork sausage (shoulders and secondary cuts are fine), cut all meat into dices and leave them in a tray to rest. Season with salt and pepper.
In a hot pot over moderate heat, add olive and rosemary. Remove the rosemary after a few minutes and add the carrot, onions, celery and garlic.
Add salt and braise for about 10 minutes. Add the meat and cook until the meat releases its water and starts to get crispy and caramelised.
Adjust your heat to avoid burning your meat.
Once the meat is caramelised, turn up the heat, add the white wine and keep stirring until the wine is completely evaporated. At this point add the broth or gravy and reduce your heat to a simmer.
Continue cooking for 2 hours, adding more broth or gravy as required.
To finalise the dish
In a big pot with salt and water, boil the pasta to the desired texture.
Once the pasta is cooked add it into the ragout, mixing gently with the help of kitchen tongs.
Add Parmigiano and olive oil to taste, plus a pinch of pepper.