Hot pasta for cold days – recipes – The Guardian

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Pappardelle with wild boar ragu (pictured above)

Prep 30 min
Cook 4 hr
Serves 4

½ bottle red wine
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 juniper berries, bashed
900g wild boar mince – or use lamb mince instead
3 x 400g tinned tomatoes, drained of their juice
1 bouquet garni, made with 10g each rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, wrapped in muslin and tied
480g pappardelle, ideally fresh
150g pecorino, grated
75g picked flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Pour the wine into a medium-sized pan and reduce it slowly on a medium heat until it’s good and thick, like a balsamic glaze, and reduced to 150ml or so – roughly 20 minutes. This will give you an intense red-wine reduction.

In a second pan, fry the onion, celery and carrots with the juniper berries to soften, then stir in the meat and saute until it has lost all its rawness. Add the tomatoes and bouquet garni, then cover the pot, first with a circle of greaseproof paper (AKA a cartouche) and then a lid, and leave to simmer gently for about three and a half hours.

When the sauce is good and rich, cook the pasta, first in boiling, salted water (three minutes if fresh, five minutes if dried), then drain and finish off cooking the pasta by stirring it into the sauce for the same amount of time as before (that is, three minutes if fresh, five if dried). Stir in half the grated pecorino and chopped parsley, and serve garnished with the remaining cheese and parsley once plated.

Pumpkin lasagne

Pumpkin lasagne from the kitchen of Lello Favuzzi.

Prep 20 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 4

For the bechamel
1.5 litres milk
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 pinch salt
90g butter
90g flour

For the lasagne
1.5kg pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into medium diced
1 tbsp olive oil
100g rosemary leaves, chopped, with extra for roasting the pumpkin
Salt and black pepper
300g cavolo nero
60g butter, melted
220 grana padano, grated
1kg dried lasagne
200g ready-cooked and peeled chestnuts
550g mozzarella (about 4½ balls), diced

First make the bechamel. In a saucepan, bring the milk, nutmeg and salt to a boil, then turn off the heat. In a second pan,

gently melt the butter, then add the flour and stir slowly to make a roux. Slowly pour the milk mix into the roux, stirring all the while, then cook gently, stirring, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put the pumpkin on an oven tray, pour over the oil and season well. Scatter over a small handful of rosemary and toss to coat. Roast until cooked through and slightly caramelised at the edges – about 20 minutes, but check after 15 or so.

Discard and discard any tough cabbage stalks, then blanch the leaves in salted boiling water for five minutes. Drain, dunk in iced water to cool down as quickly as possible – this helps retain its colour – then drain again.

Brush butter over the base of a large, deep baking tray and sprinkle over a handful of grated cheese. Put a layer of pasta in the base of the tray, cover with bechamel – you’ll need a couple of ladlefuls – top with pumpkin, followed by a handful each of chopped rosemary, chopped chestnuts, chopped cabbage, grated grana padano and diced mozzarella. Repeat until you’ve used up all the ingredients – in about five layers, ideally — but make the top with only pasta, bechamel and pumpkin topped with melted butter and grana padano.

Bake the lasagne in two stages, as we do in Italy, so it stays firm when served. Heat the oven to 150C (130C fan)/300F/gas 2, bake for 25 minutes, remove and leave to cool; 40 minutes before serving, heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, then re-bake the lasagne for 25 minutes more and take to the table.

Gnocchi with taleggio and roasted hazelnuts

Lello Favuzzi’s gnocchi with taleggio and roasted hazelnuts.

Prep 1 hr
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

For the gnocchi (optional; use shop-bought otherwise)
1.5kg desiree or maris piper potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
280g 00 flour
1½ eggs
½ tsp grated nutmeg

For the sauce
100g taleggio
300ml whole milk
50g peeled hazelnuts, roughly chopped
100g parmesan (or grana padano), grated
1½ fresh marjoram leaves, roughly chopped

For the gnocchi, if making your own, put the potatoes in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain, then mash and leave to cool. Stir in the flour, eggs and nutmeg, mix until you have a firm dough, then roll into a long, 1½cm-thick sausage. Cut this into 2cm-long pieces, and you now have gnocchi.

For the sauce, roughly chop the taleggio (the size doesn’t matter, because it’ll be melted later). Put in a bain-marie with the milk, and melt over a low heat to make a fondue-like sauce. Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan, stirring often, until lightly browned all over, then set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, then cook the gnocchi all in one go. As they float to the top, lift them out with a slotted spoon, drain and put in the fondue sauce. When all the gnocchi are cooked and in the cheese mix, add a big pinch of grated parmesan, followed by the marjoram, and stir to combine. Serve at once, with the toasted hazelnuts sprinkled on top.

Bigoli with oxtail and tomato

Bigoli with oxtail and tomato, by Lello Favuzzi.

Prep 15 min
Cook 4 hr
Serves 4

1.8kg oxtail, chopped into biggish pieces – ask the butcher to do this for you
350ml white-wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
3 juniper berries, bashed
Salt and black pepper
1 large white onion, peeled and finely diced
½ garlic clove, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin tomatoes, drained of their juice
50g ‘00’ flour
50ml olive oil
400g bigoli, fresh or dried
50g grana padano, to finish

Put the oxtail in a large casserole, add cold water to cover, then add the vinegar, bay, juniper and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and leave to cool.

In an ovenproof pot, gently saute the onion and garlic for six minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes, until thick.

Meanwhile, lift the oxtail from its cooking liquor (keep that: you’ll use some of it later), then dry on kitchen paper and dust in flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the oxtail in batches, turning regularly, until well browned all over. Put the fried oxtail in the tomato sauce pot.

Heat the oven to 155C (135C fan)/310F/gas 2½. When all the oxtail is in the sauce, add enough of its cooking liquor to submerge everything by 2cm, cover with a lid (or tin foil), then braise in the oven for three hours, checking now and then that it’s covered by liquid; add cooking liquor as needed.

Remove the pot from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool, pull the meat from the bones, return it to the sauce and put on a low simmer.

Cook the bigoli in plenty of salted boiling water for two to three minutes if fresh, five if dried, then drain. Add to the sauce and cook the pasta again for the same time as before (ie, two to three minutes if fresh, five if dried) – cooking pasta this way helps it absorb the flavour of the sauce better. Portion into wide bowls, scatter with grated cheese and serve.

Recipes by Lello Favuzzi, head chef, Mortimer House Kitchen, London W1.

Source: Thanks