Pici with Lamb Ragu

Mario Batali
Servings: 4
2+ hr
Part 1 of 2

This delicious Italian dish will be the hit of your next dinner party!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Pici with Lamb Ragu
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pounds boneless lamb shoulder (cut into 1/2 inch chunks, substitute with leg of lamb)
  • 1 onion (cut into 1/4 inch dice)
  • 1 carrot (finely chopped)
  • 2 serrano chilis (sliced thin with the seeds)
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (finely diced, substitute with guanciale)
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili flakes
  • 1 bunch basil (chopped)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 pounds eggless pasta dough
  • semolina or cornmeal (for dusting)
  • freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese to serve
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Eggless Pasta Dough:
  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups tepid water
  • In a 10 to 12 inch deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
  • Add the meat and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned meat to a dish and set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and sliced serranos. Sweat until translucent and vegetables are just beginning to brown. Next, add the pancetta, half of the chopped basil and chili flakes. Cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat.
  • Add the browned meat back into the pan. Then, add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, shape the pasta into golf ball-sized balls. One at a time, on a surface very lightly dusted with flour, roll each one into a rope 1/4-inch thick and 16 to 18 inches long. Cut the ropes into 5 to 6 inch-long pieces and set aside on a baking sheet dusted with semolina.
  • Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.
  • Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until tender 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, toss into the pan with the sauce, and stir gently over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Divide evenly among four warmed pasta bowls. Serve with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese if desired.
  • For the Eggless Pasta Dough: place both types of flour in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix well.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add water a little at a time, stirring with your hands until a dough is formed.   You may need more or less water, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.
  • Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it like bread for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. to make pici cut ping pong sized balls of dough and roll with hands to form 1/8 tubes about 8 inches long
  • Tip: if you do not have time to make the pasta, orecchiette or big rigatoni are great substitutes.
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