Strozzapretti with Ragu Alla Bolognese

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The pride of the city of Bologna, tagliatelle are the most widely known shape of fresh egg pasta. In 1972, in order to preserve the authenticity of the pasta, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina placed a copy of the original recipe for tagliatelle from Bologna in a deposit box in the Chamber of Commerce. This recipe states that the ideal noodle is between 1/5th and 1/4th of an inch in width before cooking.

It will come as no surprise that there are lots of  legends surrounding the origin of this tagliatelle. The most famous of which says tagliatelle was invented in Bologna in January 1487 by Maesto Zefirano, a Bolognese cook, who created a special pasta for a banquet organized by the noblemen of Bologna in honor of Lucrezia Borgia’s engagement to the Duke of Este. The tagliatelle, in fact, were supposed to represent Lucrezia’s beautiful blond hair.

Having said all that in the picture above I have used strozzapreti, this is just my choice, as I wanted to make some fresh pasta and strozzapreti is one of the quickest shapes I can make.

Recipe

400g tagliatelle

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions

2 carrots

2 sticks celery

3 cloves garlic

500g minced beef steak

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons thyme leaves

200ml red wine

500ml beef stock or beef stock cube dissolved in hot water

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

handful chopped flat-leaf parsley

 

(1). Finely dice the vegetables and then fry gently until soft and beginning to brown.

(2). Add the beef mince and fry rapidly until browned. Add the wine, allow the alcohol to burn off. Then add the bay leaves, thyme and tomatoes.

(3). Bring to a very slow simmer,  only just bubbling every ten- twenty seconds and cook slowly for at least six hours until the meat is very tender.

(4). Once the meat is cooked, check for seasoning, and add the parsley.

(5). Put the pasta to cook in a large pan of boiling, salted water and cook to al dente.

(6). Remove the pasta and add to the ragu.

(7). Serve in bowls topped with grated parmesan.

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