Tagliatelle with spareribs and bardiccio
For every time we’ve sweated through a heatwave, in this bizarre summer of ours, a thunderstorm has arrived and cleared the air. And with the grey skies and lower temperatures, the appetite returns; when we put away the parasols and open the windows just a crack, suddenly we feel like a drop of red wine again.
For a "stormy" spread, what better than some fresh egg pasta – tagliatelle, to be precise, with a generous ragù. In this case, we’re making the sauce with pork spareribs, but are taking it to another level by adding a nice bit of bardiccio sausage too.
First thing we do is finely chop the onion, carrots and celery, and fry them gently over a low heat. We need to rid the ribs of their cartilage, outer skin and excess fat, the parts that we wouldn’t put on the barbecue (see where this dish comes from!), before beating them with the flat of a heavy knife. Then we add the bardiccio, cut into little cubes.
Add half a glass of white wine, preferably from the Maremma, to the frying pan. Turn up the heat and let the meat brown. Once it’s got a bit of color, turn the heat down and add two tablespoons of tomato passata, a bit of rosemary and a couple of bay leaves. Then we let it simmer away for hours.
Enough time to make the pasta, that’s for sure. We’re mainly using wheat flour, with a handful of semonlina, and 1 egg for every 100 grams of flour. Add one extra egg yolk, just to give a bit more substance. Mix the flour and the eggs together to make a sheet of pasta, not too long and thin, otherwise it might overcook. Once you’ve rolled it out, wrap it in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge.
The brave and the traditionalists might prefer to roll the pasta with a rolling pin; for the rest of us, a pasta rolling machine will do just fine. Keep passing it through until the surface is dry but still malleable. Then lay it on the table and cut it into strips with a large, sharp knife.
Boil up a huge pot of salted water. Cook the pasta in it for only a few minutes: we want it al dente. Drain it and spoon it into the sauce, adding a bit of the cooking water. Mix it all together and serve with a sprig of fresh rosemary.