Fresh fettuccine with a ragù of beef is a play off the classic Tuscan wild boar ragù. Ground beef or pork, or a combination of both, works well for the American home kitchen.
Swap option: Alternatively, you can use store-bought dried or fresh fettuccine instead of making your own.
Fresh Fettuccine (makes 1½ pounds)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 pounds ground chuck (80/20)
- 3/4 pounds ground pork
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with the back of a chef's knife with 1/4 teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet
- 4 whole plum tomatoes from a can, crushed by hand
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
- 1/4 cup finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 5 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
For the fresh fettuccine:
1. Combine the flour, eggs and yolk in a food processor and pulse until a dough comes together. Transfer to a counter dusted lightly with flour and knead gently until the dough comes together and is smooth, about 1 minute. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
2. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Using your hands, flatten and shape one piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Dust it lightly with flour and pass it through the widest setting on the pasta machine. If the dough comes out oddly shaped, reform into a rectangle. Fold it in thirds, like a letter, and if necessary, flatten it to a 1/2-inch thickness.
3. Pass it through the widest setting again with the seam of the letter perpendicular to the rollers. Repeat this folding and rolling step 10 to 12 times, dusting the dough with flour if it becomes sticky.
4. Without folding the dough, pass it through the next setting on the pasta machine. Keep reducing the space between the rollers after each pass, lightly dusting the pasta with flour on both sides each time, until the pasta is about 1/16-inch thick and 3 inches wide.
5. Lay the sheet of rolled-out dough on a counter and cover with a dish towel. Roll out the remaining dough. Cut each strip of dough into 11-inch lengths. Cut the dough into fettuccine.
For the beef ragù:
1. Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms through a fine mesh strainer and reserve the strained soaking liquid.
2. Place a Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil, and heat until it is almost smoking. Add the beef and pork to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is golden-brown and rather crusty, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve for the ragù.
3. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the reserved fat in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook for one minute. Add the tomato paste and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the red wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Return the cooked meat to the pan. Add the tomatoes, beef stock, porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid and the bay leaf. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a low simmer and let cook for 90 minutes.
To cook the pasta:
Fill a large pot with water and add a few tablespoons of salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in 1 pound of the pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. (If using dried fettuccine, follow the package instructions and cook for approximately 8 minutes). Drain pasta and reserve the pasta water.
In a separate large sauté pan, ladle 2 cups of ragù into the pan. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and turn the heat on high. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and the cooked pasta and let cook together for 60 seconds. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, oregano, parsley, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with more Parmigiano Reggiano and season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.