~ Duomo and Campanile,  Firenze ~

There are many classic pasta recipes using traditional, classic, time honored techniques and ingredients that form pillars of Italian cuisine.  Admittedly, this is not one of them.   However,  it is one of the most decadent, comforting, and soulful pastas I have ever made.  It’s simple to make – very simple in fact.  But it does take some forethought and advance planning.  It’s worth it

Bistro Rigatoni

2 Packages Beef Short Ribs, about 6-8 ribs
1 medium Vidalia onion (chopped small)
1 medium carrot (chopped)
2 salt packed anchovies (rinsed & diced)
1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes

1 pound Rigatoni
1 pint light cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Fresh basil

I had been leaking photos of this recipe via my Social Media outlets for about a week, so you may have figured out by now that this recipe begins with Braised Beef Short Ribs.  Although there are already two recipes on this website for Braised Short Ribs, this process is different and easier.  
~ Mis en place for the Short Rib braise ~

Start by browning the ribs in some olive oil over medium heat.  Work in batches if needed so the pot is not over crowded.  Develop a nice color on the ribs and remove to a plate.   Add the onions, carrots and anchovies and saute until fragrant.  The anchovies will begin to break down.  Add the tomatoes to the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.  Return the meat to the pot, cover and allow to cook slowly until the meat is beyond fork tender.  It should literally be falling apart.   I slow cooked these on the stove top for about 6 hours. 

~ This was taken just before adding the tomatoes to the pot ~

Once the ribs are done, remove the meat to a cutting board and using a fork and tongs, shred the meat. Think pulled pork.  At this point, you’re finished if you do this in advance.  I made this about 2 weeks ago. Freeze the shredded meat, and the sauce in the pot separately.  Then thaw and continue when you’re ready to make the pasta.   Fast forward to last night………
~ This is the shredded short ribs and the sauce combined ~

In a saute pan large enough to hold the finished pasta,  combine the shredded ribs and the sauce and begin warming through.  Meanwhile,  cook the Rigatoni to al dente.   As the pasta is cooking, stir in 1/2 of the pint of light cream.  You want a sauce like consistency in the finished product.  You may need to use all of it, but start with half and stir it through.  I eventually used it all.   Add about 1 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg.

~ The condimento bubbling away.  This has the cream and the 1/2 cup pasta water added ~

When the pasta is al dente,  drain and add to the condimento.  Stir through, drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.  Pass grated Pecorino at the table.  Garnish with fresh Basil.  This dish is sinful.  The richness of the short ribs is deep and flavorful,  the smoothness from the cream adds a bit of comfort, the nutmeg some complexity and the pasta soaks up the sauce.  It is a must.  I plan on making a double batch of short ribs this fall to freeze for this purpose. 

~ The Chef’s Plate ~

To drink?  We had a lovely Montefalco Rosso.  More on that coming in a few weeks.  Almost any medium to full bodied red will work wonders with this dish.  Brunello, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile, or a Super Tuscan.  That’s part of the appeal for a wine geek!   

Cin Cin
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