Pappardelle literally means “gobble up” and this regional dish from Tuscany is simply not complete in our home without another regional Italian specialty, bolognese sauce.
Bolognese has a few unique twists that make it distinctive from other meat-based gravy, the most obvious is that it builds on a soffritto of celery, onion, and carrot. This is the Italian version of a mirepoix in classic French cuisine. The trifecta of vegetables is a staple for flavor, texture, and aroma, and here at the farm, all these ingredients are readily available right out of the ground. All of the vegetables and herbs for this recipe are grown right here in the garden.
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
1 red onion, chopped coarsely
2 stalks of celery, with leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs fresh chopped basil
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground lamb
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup beef stock
4 cups tomato sauce
fresh pappardelle pasta
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
Start by processing the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor with a metal blade to a fine paste like mixture. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add soffritto, cooking to the point they are lightly browned. Add the fresh herbs and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until all the liquid released by the vegetables is evaporated.
Combine ground meats and add to the vegetable mixture. Break up the meat and combine with the vegetables until cooked through, then deglaze the pan with the white wine. Simmer until the wine is reduced.
Add the beef stock and tomatoes, stirring to combine everything uniformly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and let the sauce rest for a couple of hours.
To serve, boil water and add the pappardelle pasta. Cook to roughly 3/4 done and drain. Add the bolognese sauce to a sauté pan; how much depends on the size of your sauté pan, in my kitchen, I will ladle enough sauce for 2-3 servings. Add heavy cream to the sauce and it is important to state here that personal preference will determine how much. I don’t like a lot of cream in this sauce so I use a few tablespoons, other people like more, so it’s up to you. Stir in the cream and cook until the liquid is evaporated.
Reduce heat and add the pasta to the sauce and throw in 2-3 tbs of grated cheese per serving. Simmer until the pasta is al dente and serve. I like to add additional grated cheese but fresh herbs is another option for garnish.