Almost ten years ago I was in Europe for the very first time. It was the dark of winter and I was on the way from Nîmes, France to Florence, Italy. I couldn’t find a good sleeper ticket so my connection left me in the freezing night of Turin, Italy. For hours.
Turin is known as one of the great magical cities. I don’t mean that in the romantic sense… I mean that they believe that black and white magic abound in the city that is crossed with “Ley Lines”. It lends itself to an aura of mystery. The streets were empty because the cold had a wind to it that cut through to under your clothes. So I wandered around at night through the giant squares as my next train was hours away. Being raised in the temperate San Francisco Bay Area I don’t think I knew what cold meant until that night.
My salvation came from a dim little restaurant that seemed to have some dregs of regulars left inside. It’s dim yellow light piercing my view as I wandered over. Only one dish was left to serve as they had run out of the rest: a meat ragu sauce with penne. Up until that point all the sauces I had were mostly American affairs. Closer to heated and blended Salsa with meat than the heartier versions from the European continent. As it came to the table I was in heaven. It tasted hearty, bold, and I scooped every last bit up with my bread.
Being a cold winter weekend I was in the mood to recreate the passion I felt that night at home. This isn’t a recipe to rush and is best done when you have many other things to do at home that day.
I also made a batch of fresh pasta for it but a good box of Italian dried will do just fine. I would recommend a heavier pasta then a Spaghetti to offset the body of the sauce so I made a Rigatoni.
The following is based off a modified recipe of Matthew Accarrino. It really is a modified braise technique but instead of a stew we’re making sauce.
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|2 Pounds Lamb Shoulder, Shanks, or Other Yummy Bits|
|1 Yellow Onion, diced large|
|2 Celery Stalks, diced large|
|One Garlic Head, halved Crosswise|
|A Saschet With:|
|10 black pepercorns|
|1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds|
|3 thyme sprigs|
|1 bay leaf|
|1 rosemary sprig|
|1 cup white wine|
|4 cups water|
|1/3 cup yellow onion, fine diced|
|2 pinches dried red pepper flakes|
|2 tablesppons tomato paste|
|1 cup diced bell peppers|
|1/4 cup soffritto|
|1/2 cup white wine|
|1/2 cup crushed tomatoes (canned is fine)|