This past weekend I had a great bottle of Italian wine hanging around in may cabinet, a very nice Barbaresco d’Alba from the Piemonte region of Italy, the Barolo and Barbaresco area to be specific. My thoughts went to what to have for dinner to complement the wine…
Then destiny came along when my 4 years old boy wanted to make fresh pasta, I got him addicted to use the pasta machine and as he randomly asked me to use it, we “played” chefs!
I always have good ingredients in my fridge to whip up some Bolognese meat sauce and fresh pasta, so I started by making the sauce and while it was cooking we made tagliatelle…. I had some frozen spinach which I used to make the green noodles.
Nothing beats a great full bodied red wine paired with the richness of a homemade fresh pasta dish with a hearty meat sauce.
For the pasta dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour,
1/3 cup cooked spinach, pinch of salt,
For the meat sauce:
1 lb good quality ground beef
2 carrot, 1 onion and 2 celery stalk diced for the soffritto
1 can 16oz canned tomatoes, S.Marzano ones preferably
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt&Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Start by making the meat sauce by sautéing the soffritto (carrot, onion, celery) in the tbsp of olive oil at medium-low heat till onion translucent and vegetables tender, at least 10 minutes.
Add the ground beef and brown till fully cooked for another 10 minutes. Add the red wine and let evaporate.
Add your canned tomatoes, which I usually like to puree beforehand, and stir in together with the meat and soffritto. Bring to a simmer, add salt & pepper to taste and the nutmeg and let it cook together for 30 minutes or until it reduce considerably.
Prepare you pasta dough. You will need to make two different doughs, one with the eggs only and one with the spinach. I usually chop the spinach in a food processor to make them as fine as possible to mix in well. Combine 1 cup flour with the chopped spinach, pinch of salt, 1tsp evoo to make the green pasta and mix till smooth and consistent dough is formed.
Combine the other 1 cup of flour with the eggs, another pinch of salt, 1tsp evoo and mix.
You will have two pasta dough to make the two kinds of tagliatelle.
Let it rest covered for 5 minutes or so.
Using a pasta roller or a rolling pin, flatten your doughs to thin sheets to then cut them in tagliatelle. Leave the cut tagliatelle on your counter or a tray covered with flour to avoid to stick together.
Put to boil a large pot of water; once it starts boiling add a tbsp of salt, stir and boil the tagliatelle for few minutes till the float on the water surface.
Heat up a tbsp of evoo in a skillet and add few spoonful of meat sauce, drain the pasta and add to the hot pan; sautée for few minutes till the sauce and tagliatelle combined.
Don’t forget to sprinkle a good grated Parmigiano cheese and a drizzle of great extra virgin olive oil!