Ragu with Fresh Tajarin Pasta

This recipe makes about 12 ounces of pasta, which should serve 4 people.  The recipe makes more ragu than you will need for 12 ounces of pasta. You can either freeze the remainder (which I do - as long as I am making sauce, why not make more?) or you can easily halve this recipe.

for the ragu:
1 pound of beef (I used chuck roast), ground
1 pound of pork (I used pork shoulder), ground
2 Tablespoons olive oil
⅓ cup very finely chopped onion
⅓ cup very finely chopped carrot
⅓ cup very finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, grated
6 Tablespoons tomato paste, divided (a 6 ounce can)
1 cup dry red wine, divided
2½ cups beef broth, divided
2 cups crushed or pureed tomatoes, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground pepper
sea salt to taste
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

for the pasta:
8 egg yolks, room temperature
1½ - 2 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)

Make the ragu:
In a large heavy pot, brown the meats over medium heat.  Drain the meats in a colander to remove fat. Do not wipe out pot.  Add the onion, carrot, celery and olive oil to pot and saute on medium low heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute a minute more.  Add 3 Tablespoons of the tomato paste and let cook for a couple of minutes and then blend well.  Add ½ cup of the wine, 2 cups of the beef broth, 1 cup of the pureed tomatoes, the oregano, nutmeg and pepper.  Return the meat to the pot, stir well and cook, uncovered, over low heat so that the ragu simmers, but does not boil.  Cook this way for about 1½ hours, stirrig occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the pasta:
Place the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and whisk.  If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook, do this step in that mixing bowl.  Add half of the flour and, either with the dough hook or a fork, mix the flour into the eggs.  Keep adding more flour until you get a dough that is still a bit sticky.  Turn out onto a counter and finish by hand, adding a little more flour at a time and kneading until the dough is not too dry but still a tiny bit moist - it should feel like "Play-Doh".  Wrap in floured plastic wrap and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, cut it into 4 pieces and run through the rollers of a pasta machine, starting at the widest setting and ending at the next to thinnest setting (if you like a thicker pasta, just stop at the thickness you like).  Lay the sheets out on a slightly floured counter.  After you make all the sheets, either roll them up and slice by hand or run the sheets through the spaghetti cutter on your pasta machine.  Place the pasta on a well floured rimmed baking sheet, toss with flour so the pasta doesn't stick, lightly cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Finish the ragu:
After the ragu has cooked for about 1½ hours, most of the liquid should be gone.  If not, simmer for 20 or so minutes more until this stage is reached.  Either with an immersion blender in the pot, or in a food processor, process the ragu until the meats are finely ground.  Return to pot and add the rest of the wine, beef broth, pureed tomato and tomato paste.  The ragu should soak these right up.  Taste the ragu and add salt to taste. Stir well and keep warm, with the lid on this time, until ready to use.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta for about 60 seconds, tossing with tongs as it cooks. Remove the pasta with tongs and place right in a large serving bowl, allowing some of the pasta water to cling to the pasta.  Spoon some of the ragu over the pasta and toss well, coating the pasta.  How much sauce you use is up to you - most Americans overdress pasta.  Divide onto serving plates and serve with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese.

The Italian Dish
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