fresh, homemade fettuccine pasta topped with classic pork ragu
Ensure the pork is extremely dry and season with salt on all sides. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add enough safflower oil to just coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the pork (work in batches if needed) and sear on all sides until a crust forms, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate and cover with foil.
To the same pot, add the onion, carrots, parsnips, and celery. Saute until slightly tender and caramelized. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir in the garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste. Work the paste with a wooden spoon so that it breaks up, and let cook for a few minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Let the liquid come to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you add them to the pot, plus the liquid from the can. Add the chicken stock, thyme, sage, and oregano. Stir until incorporated. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Lower the heat all the way. Cover the pot, letting it stay cracked open so steam can release, and let cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
The meat should be fork tender. Use two forks to break apart the meat right in the pot. Stir well to incorporate the meat with the rest of the sauce.
While the ragu cooks, make the pasta. Pour the flour into a large, shallow bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks to the well, along with the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Use a fork to whisk the yolks, oil, and water, gradually starting to pull the flour into the liquid. Continue to whisk until the flour seems to have absorbed all of the liquid. Set the fork aside and start to use your hands to bring the dough together, adding more water if needed. At this point, it will seem like the dough is too dry, but you just need to keep working it with your hands, pressing all of the pieces together.
When you finally have a workable ball of pasta dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days and then pull it to room temperature for 45 minutes before rolling.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Use a pasta machine to roll out each piece of dough into thin sheets, about 1/16”, working from the thickest setting down to your desired setting (I go from setting 1 to setting 5 on the Kitchen Aid machine). Place the sheets on a floured surface and keep covered. While you roll out each piece of dough, make sure the rest of the dough remains covered as well so it does not dry out. Once all of the sheets are formed, change the attachment on the pasta machine to the fettuccine cutter. Run the sheets of pasta through the machine to create fettuccine noodles. Keep the dough floured to prevent sticking and covered to prevent drying.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the pasta for just about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta. When all of the pasta is cooked and drained, add it back to the empty pot. Add the butter, stirring as it melts, and season with salt to taste. Plate the pasta with large spoonfuls of the pork ragu on top. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over top, and add any fresh herbs that you’d like.
You may have extra pork ragu, but since it takes so long to make, I like to make the full batch. It holds very well in the refrigerator for other uses all week long! You can also freeze it and defrost when needed.