“I think everyone has their own version of ragu. This is one of my mother’s recipes,” says Eugenio Maiale. He and wife Michelle Maiale run A Tavola in Darlinghurst and Bondi, plus spin-off Flour Eggs Water in Surry Hills and Forest Lodge.
The couple first came to Sydney on a working holiday, from Adelaide. They liked it so much they decided to stick around. Sydneysiders have been reaping the benefits ever since: fresh pastas rolled out daily, written up on blackboards and served at tables clothed in brilliant white. Many dishes take their cues from the Abruzzo region, where Eugenio’s mum comes from.
The Maiales like to share this ragu with their family whenever they’re back in Adelaide. They serve it with a fresh green salad to cleanse the palate. A tavola! (“To the table!”).
A Tavola’s Pappardelle Con Ragu
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2.5 hours
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
100g pancetta, finely chopped
½ cinnamon quill
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
2 tbsp of chopped parsley
300g pork mince
300g chicken mince
300g veal mince
375ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
800g peeled tomatoes (fresh or tinned), finely chopped
500ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
500g fresh or dried pappardelle
Parmigiano Reggiano, to serve
In a deep pan, heat the butter and add the carrots, onions, garlic, celery, pancetta and cinnamon. Fry gently until everything has softened.
Add the nutmeg, cloves, herbs and minced meats. Fry on a moderate heat until all excess meat juices have evaporated.
Add the red wine and simmer for 5–7 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 8–10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon quill and discard.
Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook gently for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaf and cloves.
Boil the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring often, until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain and transfer into the pot with the sauce. Toss thoroughly.
Divide the pasta between 6 plates and serve topped with finely grated parmesan.
This is an extract from The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook, which features 80 recipes from Australia's best restaurants, cafes and bars. Available now at shop.broadsheet.com.au.