Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Pappardelle delle colline di Firenze

The title of this recipe translates to 'pappardelle from the hills of Florence'. If you can't obtain fresh pappardelle, any other broad flat pasta will do - I have made it with fettuccia riccia, for example. The ricotta you use, whether ewe's or cow's, should be a nice moist one. The first time I made this, it was with ricotta which really was reaching its limit, and was slightly dry - this can be solved by adding a little extra olive oil to the sauce, but of course the best solution is simply to get good fresh ricotta. Passata is a sieved tomato sauce, sold in jars (or of course you could make your own). This recipe is from Ursula Ferrigno's excellent vegetarian cookbook, Truly Italian.

2 tablespoonsolive oil
1onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrotpeeled and finely chopped
1celery stick, finely chopped
1garlic clove, peeled and crushed
200 gtomato passata
150 mlwhite wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
300 gpappardelle
200 gfresh ewe's milk ricotta cheese (cow's will do)
a handfulfresh basil, torn
freshly grated Parmesan, to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Stir well and cook gently until they change colour. Add the garlic, tomato passata, wine, salt and pepper, and lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in plenty of rolling, boiling salted water until al dente, then drain.

Crumble the ricotta into a tureen, pour over the hot pasta, sauce and basil and mix well. Serve with plenty of Parmesan to taste, and garnish with more basil if you like.

Serves 4.

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