Pasta Class - Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

It's poor form on my part, but last night I allowed Mr LP to cook his own Father's Day eve dinner - bread pappardelle with lamb ragu.

You know why? He handles our pasta machine like a boss. And it's still a freezing, very non-Spring temperature outside. There's no way I was passing up home-made pasta and slow cooked lamb on a Saturday night!

Let me tell you about this recipe Mr LP has nailed. We learned it from chef Danny Russo at a pasta making class we went to at Mosman's Accoutrement a few weeks back. And I'm allowed to share it with you, you lucky ducks!

We have trotted it out a few times now at family things because it is so damn impressive and relatively easy if you make the pasta ahead, or even if you don't. Mr LP whipped it all up yesterday afternoon. He's good, that man.

If you're intimidated by making pasta, I say have a crack anyway. It's much easier than you think. You just need a bit of clear bench space and to be prepared to get your hands in there. It's quite therapeutic, the kneading process. Nothing dainty, like pastry. Get in and work it!

The Accoutrement class was the first time (gasp) I had ever made pasta, so everything was new and exciting. I was a bit enthusiastic! I took a lot of photos that all looked awful but at least the pasta was delicious.

Danny does a class each year and I highly recommend it. He was patient and easy to follow, and we left with three types of our own pasta, containers of pesto and Parmesan, and full from a three course lunch.

We made our own cavatelle, linguine, and pappardelle made with breadcrumbs. Danny served the cavatelle (like a small, half tube of penne) in a light and super tasty chickpea soup, perfect for this cold snap. The linguine, he tossed gently in a large bowl with raw swordfish marinated in lemon juice, fennel and sea salt. So fresh and delicious! But my favourite was the pappardelle with lamb ragu. The breadcrumbs in this recipe give some texture to the pasta and the sauce is rich and warming. It is all the things you want in a food hug.

Thank you Danny for sharing your tips and your recipe, and thank you Mr LP for mastering it (promise I'll make breakfast xx).

Bread Papardelle with Lamb Ragu
(Recipe by Danny Russo)

300g pasta flour
150g dried breadcrumbs
4 eggs, large
2 egg yolks
Pinch salt

Combine flour, breadcrumbs and salt in a bowl or on a clean bench. Create a well in the centre. Whisk the eggs and yolks together and add to the well. Stir with two fingers, gradually bringing the dry ingredients into the eggs, then increase fingers to whole hand stirring. When the dough starts to come together, knead until smooth. Divide dough into four pieces, wrap in cling wrap and leave it to react for at least 30 mins. Flatten your dough into a rough rectangle and flatten as much as possible before rolling it through a pasta machine until smooth, elastic and approx. 2mm thick. Cut into 15mm ribbons and your pappardelle is ready.

Lamb Ragu
1kg lamb shoulder, diced into 3cm chunks (ask your butcher)
200g finely diced onion
4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
500g tinned tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
100ml white wine
1L chicken stock
50ml olive oil
Salt, pepper
2 bay leaves
100g pitted black olives
Extra olive oil 
Parmesan to serve
Parsley to serve
Grated lemon zest to serve

Preheat oven to 160C. Heat a large oven proof casserole pan and sear the lamb until browned all over. Remove from pan and fry off the onion, celery, rosemary and garlic. Add the white wine and reduce by a third before adding the lamb back into the pan with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, add salt and pepper, then bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until the lamb is falling apart. Stir in olives.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt and cook pasta until all-dente. When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the ragu. Serve drizzled with extra olive oil, shaved Parmesan, scattered parsley and grated lemon zest.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, especially Mr LP, who is a great one. xxx


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