Rosa’s Tagliatelle with Lamb Ragù

Lamb is the preferred meat in Abruzzo. And folk love a square shaped spaghetti called tagliatelle all chitarra - Rosa demonstrates how to make the pasta here. This Rosa Cianciosi’s recipe for 4 people. If you want make the meat sauce and buy the pasta, find a good quality egg pasta.

First make the lamb ragù:

800g lamb, for example diced shoulder
1 small onion, chopped
extra virgin olive oil to fry with
75ml – a wine glass – of white wine or whatever you have to hand: vino cotto, marsala, or sherry
500g of chopped up flavoursome, fresh tomatoes
500g tomato passata
a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf and some fresh basil leaves
Fry the lamb and onion briskly in the olive oil, stirring regularly. You want both the meat and onion to be browned but not burnt. Pour in wine, scrape up any caramelised bits from the bottom, and let everything cook down a little before removing the lamb with a perforated scoop. Put the pieces to once side and add the fresh tomatoes, the passata and the herbs. Season with some salt and bring to a gentle bubble. Let it cook for a few minutes before returning the meat to the sauce. Cover and leave it simmer over a low heat for 2 hours.

For the pasta:

400g durum wheat flour
4 free range eggs, beaten
a pinch of salt

Follow Antonietta’s method in the video or use a food processor to mix the flour, eggs and salt. Once it’s smooth, turn it out into a bowl or the rolling board, cover with a cloth and leave the dough for a good 30 minutes or longer. If your board and rolling pin aren’t very big, cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll it out to 3 millimetres thickness. If you’ve got a chitarra you cut the pieces to fit the stringed area and then, as Antonietta demonstrates, use the pin to roll the pieces through the wires.

If you don’t have a chitarra, then roll up the dough and cut it crossways at 3 to 5 millimetre intervals to make tagliatelle strands.

Shake them out and place on a floured tray.

When the lamb is really tender and you’re ready to eat, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add a tablespoon of salt and bring it back to the boil and dump in the tagliatelle. They should cook in about 2 minutes. Either drain through a colander of use a scoop to remove the pasta.

Remove the lamb from the sauce and keep warm. Mix the drained pasta with the tomato sauce and serve with grated parmesan.

Rosa’s son adds a chopped fresh red chilli to the bottom of his plate before the pasta is served.

The lamb is served as a second course with some salad.