…and Salsa Verde

At the Mediterranean Culinary Academy, we’ve been busy working on our upcoming course on the Regional Cuisines of Italy so there’s been a lot of pasta testing going on. These tagliatelle are rich yet silky from the large amount of egg yolk in them, and will work just as well as a stuffed pasta as they would tagliatelle.

Ingredients

For the Spring Lamb Ragu

750g lamb shoulder, shank or leg
100g carrot, chopped, tops reserved
200g onion, chopped
200g fennel, chopped, tops reserved
75g spring garlic, chopped
100g tomato paste
½ btl red wine
1 bundle of bay leaves, thyme and rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tagliatelle

200g 00 flour
6 egg yolks
1 egg
15g olive oil

For the Vegetable Top Salsa Verde

20g fennel tops
20g Carrot tops
100g olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Method

For the Spring Lamb Ragu

Begin by setting a large heavy bottomed pot over high heat with a generous lug of oil on the bottom. Cut lamb into large chunks or leave whole if using shank. Place lamb into the pot with a generous pinch of salt and brown evenly on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the chopped vegetables, a large pinch of salt and another good lug of olive oil if necessary, scraping the bottom of the pan. Once the vegetables are lightly coloured, add the tomato paste and toast lightly for a minute or two. Add herbs and deglaze with red wine. Return the lamb to the pot with several generous grinds of black pepper and add water or stock until it is almost completely covered. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Braise for 3 hours or until fork-tender. Once tender remove the lamb from the sauce and break into smaller pieces. Reduce the rest of your sauce until thickened.

For the Tagliatelle

Place flour into a mound on your work top. Create a well in the centre and add egg yolks, egg and olive oil. Using a fork, begin whisking the eggs and, once homogenous, begin incorporating the flour by folding the egg into it. Once the mixture seems to thicken and resemble a dough, switch to your hands and begin kneading the rough dough together to form a ball. Begin kneading until it comes together, pushing down on the ball of dough in a forward motion and allow to rest for a few minutes. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Dust your work surface lightly and begin kneading again. Pushing the ball of dough to stretch it away from you, reshape into a ball and knead once again. Repeat this process for roughly fifteen minutes or until the dough is silky smooth and when you press your finger into the ball, the dough will spring back into place with ease.

Allow to rest for 1 hour before beginning to roll it. Use a rolling machine if possible to roll out the pasta thinly but not too fragile. Cut either by hands or using an attachment into tagliatelle.

For the Vegetable Top Salsa Verde

Lots of vegetables will typically come with an abundance of greens which we often discard before even bringing them our own kitchens. These greens can make excellent garnishes, sauces or add additional flavour to dishes. Here we use the tops from our carrots and fennel used in our lamb recipe to make a vibrant sauce which will add balance to our hearty lamb ragu.

In a pestle and mortar grind together the herbs with the garlic cloves and lemon zest and slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

To finish

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta until almost tender, roughly 2-3 minutes. In a small pan warm up enough ragu for two portions of pasta and a small handful of peas or broad beans for colour and texture. Once the pasta is almost cooked, add to the pan with the ragu and reduce them together with a generous knob of butter. Remove from the pan once the pasta is cooked and the pasta water has dissolved. Serve on a warm plate with generous gratings of parmesan and dollops of salsa verde.

Stephen La Rosa

Stephen La Rosa

"It’s actually quit easy to learn about what’s in season at any given time – simply pay a visit to your local farmer’s market and start a conversation"

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