Lumaconi with ragout

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Lumaconi with ragout
This ragout recipe was written by Sara Danesin, a Finalist in the 2011 MasterChef UK TV programme.
Yet again, this recipe allows you to prepare a wonderfully tasty dish using relatively inexpensive ingredients. The large Garofalo cochiglie allows much of the sauce to find its way inside the pasta making each bite a pleasurable experience.
For a fancier version of the ragout you could consider using a game meat mix rather than beef and pork. If you do, I would recommend using some lard or pancetta too — as well as some dried porcini!
This recipe can be achieved either with a slow cooker or, if you are lucky enough to have an AGA, using the bottom oven. In either case, you can leave the sauce to slow cook for many hours depending on the fattiness of the meat, and the cooking temperature.
Alternatively, you can use this recipe as a base for a baked pasta by placing the finished pasta and sauce in an oven-proof dish and then topping it with a generous quantity of béchamel sauce — mixed to a creamy consistency — and baking it at 180°C/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes. Just remember to sprinkle a little parmigiano over the pasta bake before serving.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients  

  • 400 g garofalo lumaconi
  • 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 200 g pork mince
  • 200 g beef mince
  • 50 g cubed smoked pancetta
  • 50 g parmigiano
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 4 tsp concentrated tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp red wine
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 celery (finely diced)
  • 1 shallot (finely diced)
  • 1 carrot (finely diced)
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Instructions 

  • Add the olive oil and pancetta to a frying pan and let it brown gently; then add the diced celery, shallot, and carrot and sweat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaves and juniper berries and both meats.
  • Mix well with the vegetables and add the wine. Once the wine has evaporated, add the tinned tomatoes, a glass of water mixed with the tomato paste, then lower the heat, cover the pan with a lid, and allow the sauce to gently simmer for 1½ hours minimum.
  • If the mix appears too dense, add a small quantity of warm water but remember that both the tomatoes and the meats will both typically release water during cooking.
  • Serve over a plate of lumaconi.
During the Great Fire of London of 1666, Samuel Pepys buried his “Parmasan cheese, as well as [his] wine and some other things’ to preserve them”.
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