Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Corzetti with Short Rib Ragu

This is a very special type of pasta that is from Liguria (NW Italy). These corzetti or croxetti in local dialect, are stamped pasta that traditionally embosses the family crest. They are rather rare but can be found on the internet if you look. It is traditionally served with walnut pesto or pesto genovese. It is also commonly made with potatoes in the dough. In this dish, I have made the dough slightly different and served it with a very rich ragu that is great to warm up with now that we are entering the cold weather.

TT = to taste

Pasta Dough:
2 1/2 cups Semolina flour
1 cup AP Flour
1 1/4 cup water
3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2t fine sea salt

For Short Ribs:
1/2# good quality pancetta, cut into matchsticks (substitute guanciale or bacon)
2# good quality beef short ribs
2 red onions, med dice
3 grocery store size carrots, sliced into discs
3 celery stalks, med dice
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh sage
10 juniper berries
3 parmigiano reggiano cheese rinds (2"X2" each)
2 cups red wine
3 1/2 - 4 cups veal stock
1 - 2 1/2 oz pkg of veal demi glace
TT salt
TT black pepper

In 6qt dutch oven, heat pancetta over medium-low
cook until pancetta is nice and crispy and fat has rendered
remove pancetta and reserve
turn heat up to high
Season beef short ribs with salt and pepper
When fat is just smoking, add short ribs and sear until nice and caramelized all over
remove short ribs from pan and reserve
lower heat to med-low
add onions to dutch oven and cook stirring often until softened and well caramelized (about 20 minutes)
add carrots, garlic, celery, the fresh herbs and the juniper berries and saute until softened (about 5-10 minutes)
return short ribs and pancetta to the pot
add the wine, the stock, the demi glace and the cheese rinds and bring to a boil
reduce heat to simmer and cover
Either cook on stove top stirring & skimming fat occasionally for about 2 1/2-3 hours or until meat is tender or in a 250F oven for about the same amount of time.
While short ribs are braising, combine ingredients for dough together
mix until dough forms
knead for 5-10 minutes
wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes
cut dough into 4 parts
wrap the other 3 pieces
roll the first piece of dough out enough to be able to run through thickest setting of hand-cranked pasta machine
knead through pasta machine 10 times on thickest setting dusting pasta with flour as needed
then roll pasta through thickest setting 3 times
place on floured surface
cut out rounds with corzetti stamp
dredge rounds in flour and press between stamp to make imprint
transfer all stamped pasta to sheet trays lined with parchment and dusted with flour
repeat the process with remaining dough
Allow corzetti to dry out before cooking so the imprint holds better.
When short ribs are tender remove them from pot
trim off their bones, excess fat and cut them into bite size pieces
return the pieces to the braising put and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has completely absorbed into meat. (Should be nice & thick in consistency
Remove the cheese rinds & the fresh herb stems
taste for seasoning & adjust if necessary
Keep warm
Bring 6 qts of water to a boil with 2T of coarse sea salt
Drop pasta in batches into boiling water and cook until they float
transfer corzetti to large non stick pan and spoon in some of the ragu along with a little pasta water to form a sauce
Once all the pasta has been cooked and sauced, transfer to serving plates
garnish with some grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
serve immediately

Corzetti on Foodista

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