Pappardelle with White Rocks Veal & Marjoram Ragu
Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook Pasta Artigiana
This recipe owes its genesis to a Calabrian butcher by the name of Vincenzo Garreffa - a very close family friend and an extraordinary food innovator. I have featured his products on my menus over the years as he is particularly passionate about Italian butchery tradition and is a purveyor of the highest quality meat products available. Collaboration with him is particularly exciting. This dish, originally conceived for the first Pendolino menu and featuring Vince’s wonderful White Rocks Veal, has become a signature menu item. When cooking this dish, make sure you stir the pot regularly as the flour coating on the meat tends to stick to the base, making it very easy to burn. While White Rocks Veal is a treat to use, this dish is fantastic with any good-quality veal product.
400 g (40 oz) veal chuck, trimmed and diced into 1-2cm (½ inch - ¾ inch) cubes
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting the meat
140 ml (4½ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
2 thyme sprigs, picked
1 rosemary sprig, picked
2 marjoram sprigs, picked
150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) beef broth (see below)
600 g (1 lb, 5 oz) fresh egg pasta dough, cut into pappardelle (see below)
50 g (1 ¾ oz / ½ cup) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra to serve
50 g (1¾ oz) salted butter, chopped
Season the veal with the sea salt and black pepper and dust with the flour, taking care to shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and sauté the meat until it is golden. In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat and sauté the finely diced vegetables, garlic and herbs until lightly golden. Deglaze with the white wine and reduce by half. Add the cooked veal and beef broth. Season to taste. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for approximately 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart.
Bring abundant salted water to the boil and cook the pasta. With fresh egg pasta, the eating experience is different from dried pasta and the texture is much softer and not really al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Stir through the freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and butter to help thicken and enrich the sauce. Serve topped with additional Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Makes approximately 2.5 litres (87 fl oz/10 cups)
2 kg (4 lb, 8 oz) beef bones and trimmings (see note)
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 g (3½ oz) onion, roughly chopped
100 g (3½ oz) carrot, roughly chopped
100 g (3½ oz) celery stalks, roughly chopped
40 g (1½ oz) garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) water
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
5 black peppercorns
2 thyme sprigs
2 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs
Preheat the oven to 150 C (300 F/Gas 2). Place the beef bones and trimmings in a roasting tin and bake until nicely browned (approximately 1-1½ hours). Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan and sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic until they are nicely browned.
Deglaze the roasting tin with some of the water, then add this with all the other ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and slowly simmer without a lid for 3-4 hours. Skim away the excess fat and other particles that come to the surface of the liquid throughout the cooking process. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer and refrigerate. If there is excess fat, it will solidify at the top of the refrigerated broth. Remove this with a spoon and discard before using the broth. Beef broth can be made in advance and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Note: Replace the beef bones with veal bones to make veal stock.
Fresh egg pasta dough
Makes approximately 600 g (1 lb, 5 oz)
330 g (11½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra, for kneading
70 g (2½ oz) fine semolina
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 x 60 g (2¼ oz) free range or organic eggs
Combine the flour, semolina and sea salt and place on a work surface or large wooden board. The flour should form a peaked mound. With your hand, make a hole in the top of the mound so that it resembles a volcano. This hole needs to be big enough to be able to 'house' the eggs. Break the eggs into the hole. With your hand or with a fork, gently beat the eggs, then slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture. I do this by moving my hand in a circular motion, slowly incorporating the flour from the inside wall of the mound. Don't worry if the dough looks like a mess. This is normal.
Once fully combined, knead a little more flour into the dough if it feels a little wet and sticky. Set the dough aside and clean the work space. Dust some fresh flour onto the work surface and continue kneading the dough for another 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Next, roll the pasta to the desired thickness and cut into the desired shape.