Pap­pardelle with chest­nut and beef ragu

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

Serves four


• 400g pap­pardelle pasta

• 300g fatty beef, minced

• 20 chest­nuts

• 2 tb­sps to­mato purée

• 1 large onion, peeled and very finely diced

• 1 large car­rot, peeled and very finely diced

• 1 cel­ery stalk, very finely diced • 120g Parme­san, grated

• Small glass of red wine • Cin­na­mon, ground

• Knob of but­ter

• Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

• Sea salt flakes

• Freshly ground black pep­per


① Score each chest­nut length­ways on one side only with the tip of a sharp knife. Scat­ter them in a roast­ing tray and put into an oven pre-heated to 200°C. Re­move af­ter 20mins, when they have turned darker brown and the split skins are curl­ing back on them­selves. Al­low to cool. Peel the nuts, dis­card the skins and break the fleshy ker­nels into rough pieces. Set aside.

② Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a large pan. Gently sauté the diced onion, car­rot and cel­ery on a medium heat for 10mins un­til soft, translu­cent and glossy. Make sure noth­ing burns or sticks. Turn down the heat if nec­es­sary. Add the minced beef and stir un­til the meat has bro­ken up and is nicely browned. Add the wine and, as soon as it starts to bub­ble, turn down the heat to a low set­ting and add the to­mato purée and a good pinch of salt and pep­per.

③ Now, care­fully scat­ter a tspn or two of ground cin­na­mon evenly over the sauce and stir. Add the pieces of chest­nut and stir. Make sure the heat is as low as pos­si­ble, cover and sim­mer for around 40mins, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, mak­ing sure the sauce does not dry out.

④ To­wards the end of the sauce’s cook­ing time, put the pap­pardelle into a large pan of salted boil­ing wa­ter. If us­ing fresh pasta, cook for 3–4mins; if dried, ac­cord­ing to packet in­struc­tions. Drain, re­serv­ing a cup of the pasta cook­ing wa­ter and tip the pap­pardelle into the pan with the sauce and the knob of but­ter. Mix to­gether well. Use a lit­tle of the pasta cook­ing wa­ter to loosen the sauce, but only if nec­es­sary. Stir in all the Parme­san and serve.

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