Inspired by my recent trip to Italy and the Italian food capital, Modena. I wanted to create a rich Ragu using some of the fine ingredients I brought with me home, Balsamico Vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Two of the most known ingredients from the Modena area. If you make the trip to look at fast cars and taste the best food in the world, I would highly recommend stopping by Villa San Donnino for their excellent Balsamico tasting.
I wanted to make a hearty dish for the fall season here in Seattle. Using the best of what is available at the farmers market. For the best tomatoes you unfortunately have to find in the can section, but don’t let that fool you to think you are getting a lesser product. Keeps well in the freezer and goes well with many different types of pasta. This will be your new go to ragu.
1,8l Whole Milk
200ml Heavy Cream
120ml Vinegar (White, White Wine, Apple Cider, or White Balsamico Vinegar)
In a sauce pan heat the milk mixture with a little bit of salt. As it is heating up prepare your strainer that you line with cheese cloth. Once the mixture has reached 92c take it a side, make sure the milk does not burn on the bottom of the pan. Slowly add the vinegar (I used White Balsamico condiment) as you are stirring. After about 30 minutes strain the mixture. For the pasta dough, see my earlier post here. Create two pasta sheets and put a table spoon of ricotta in the middle about 4-5cm apart. Put the second sheet on top and make sure there is no air bubbles. Cook for 4-5 minutes in rolling salted water, or freeze for later.
Shortrib Bolognese Ragu
Warning, recipe is large. It keeps well in the freezer and can be used with many different types of pasta.
1 Sweet Onion
6 Celery sticks
4 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
1kg of Short ribs
1l Beef broth
50ml Balsamico Vinegar (or Balsamico condiment)
450 ml Red Wine (Sangiovese recommended)
5g fresh Sage (finely chopped)
5g fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
5g fresh Thyme (finely chopped)
2 Bay leaves
225ml Whole Milk
225ml Heavy Cream
1l Whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
5-6 pieces of Sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
In a large dutch oven sear off the Short ribs and take them out of the pot. In the same pot add the Panchetta and let that render some of the fat before adding your mirepoix (Carrot, onion, garlic, and celery finely chopped). Once your veggies have been caramelized and golden add in your red wine. I added Balsamico condiment to get another layer for richness and depth. Once the alcohol is burned off, add the stock and reduce a little. Blitz up your tomatoes with a hand blender or food processor and add that to the pot with all your spices. So this is where we are adding a little MSG. MSG is to boost the tomato flavors and get that 5th taste (Umami) really going. Don’t be affraid, it will really make this sauce go from great, to YUM. Add you Short ribs back to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Let it gently stew away for 3-4 hours, trying not to sneak a taste as the wonderful smells fill your house. Finish the sauce by adding the milk and Parmesan. Serve with al dente pasta.
See you next time. Hungry Eyes Full Heart, Can’t Lose!