It wasn't an easy job. The pasta dough was well and truly kneaded by The Beast, but in rolling it out it just kept springing right on back at me. It didn't seem like I was getting very far at all. I worked the biceps harder and eventually it started to get thinner. It took over my work top.
When I thought it was thin enough, I cut ribbons out of it and hung it up on the oven door handle to hang around until I was ready to cook it. These were well dusted with flour to make sure they didn't stick together.
When it came to cooking it, I dumped all the noodles in a huge pan of salty boiling water. As soon as I did I realised I didn't roll it nearly thin enough. It was going to be a filling dinner.
As thick and rustic as the pasta was, it was actually really good, especially with the slow-cooked oxtail ragu. Perhaps it was the sense of achievement for my rolling efforts, or because I love a stodgy carb-fest - the pasta was chewy and toothsome. Completely unrefined but ultimately very satisfying.
110gr pasta flour
Make a well in the flour and crack the egg into it. Mix it well and then knead it for 10 minutes until it is a smooth elastic ball. Leave to rest for half an hour. Roll the hell out of it as thinly as possible on a floured work surface. When you think you've got it thin enough, think again and carry on rolling. Cut into your desired thickness and hang on a rack to dry for 5 or 10 minutes.
Cook in boiling salted water for just a minute or so and serve with a meaty, rich ragu.
Serves 3 greedy girls
1 small whole oxtail, chopped into pieces
3 sticks of celery
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
A few sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary (optional)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tin of tomatoes
Half a bottle of red wine
1 tsp Marmite
1/2 a star anise
A handful of mushrooms
A big squirt of tomato puree
Salt & pepper
To remove the fat easier, make this the day before to let the fat cool and solidify.
In a frying pan, brown the oxtail pieces and set aside. Dice the onion, carrots and celery and mince the garlic. In a large saucepan, add some oil and then add these in there. Fry slowly for about 20 mins. Add the browned oxtail and the red wine and simmer briskly until reduced by half. Add the tinned tomatoes, a tin's worth of water, the tomato puree, Marmite and the herbs. Simmer for 3 hours. Add more water if it's looking dry.
Lift out the oxtail and remove the meat from the bones. Add the meat back to the sauce, add the mushrooms and star anise and simmer for a further hour. By this time the sauce should be thick and rich. Taste, season and serve with pasta.