Parpadelle with Venetian style Ragu

Did you know that in Italy they don't actually overload the pasta with Sauce?
The mince beef and sauce usually coat the pasta just enough so you can taste and enjoy both.

Source: Flickr. Photographer. louis r

200ml extra virgin olive oil
500g minced beef (or veal, but I can't get my head around using veal, sorry. You can also use duck)
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, pelled and grated
1 large stick of celery, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp thyme (about 2 sprigs)
1 tbsp flat-leaf chopped parsley
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp plain flour
250ml white wine
1 litre chicken stock
450g fresh Parpadelle (or any other pasta you want)
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated parmesan or grana-padano cheese

Heat half of the olive oil over high heat. Add the meat and cook, stirring, until browned. Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside. Mix all the herbs together in a little bowl.

In a pan on low heat, (can be the same you used for the meat, so you reutilize the left over flavours), add the remaining oil, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook gently until soft and just starting to brown. Return the meat to the pan and stir it for about a minute, and then just add the tomato paste. Stir to combine, add flour and stir again.
Increase the heat, then add the wine and let it simmer until it completely evaporates. Add the stock and herbs and salt and pepper to taste,  and use a wooden spoon to make sure everything is well combined (probably you will have some sediment in the bottom of the pan). Let it come to boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. At this stage the sauce should be a bit thicker. If it's too thin, let it simmer a bit longer, if it's too thick you can add a bit of water or extra stock. adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

In a separate pan, cook the pasta.  Drain and serve immediately with cheese on top.

Vic Lic

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