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open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

I enjoy pasta…a lot… I typically make pasta a couple times a week and usually sauce it with some sort of ragu. Hawai’i has come a long way in the past few years and I’m able to source most of the vegetables I use locally. Meat is another story. There is not a single butcher shop on Oahu. Finding local meat is no easy task. Unfortunately, I buy the majority of my meat from Safeway; more specifically, from the small section of soon to expire meat that is discounted 30-50 percent at the Manoa Safeway. I buy whatever is looking the best and the best value. Today there were some nice looking bone-in rib eyes and I took one home with me to make a ragu.

Rib Eye Ragu:
rib eye steak (1.25lbs, bone-in)
roma tomatoes (16 small/medium from Ho Farms)
onion (small from Pit Farm)
carrot (1 purple, 1 yellow from Pit Farm)
celery (1 stalk from Pit Farm)
garlic (2-3 cloves)
chili (2 Hawaiian chilis from pit Farm)
fresh herbs (minced rosemary, sage, basil, parsley and a bay leaf from garden)
wine (1/2 cup or so, i used prosecco that had gone flat)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the steak into chunks and brown them and the bone in olive oil. I like to get everything nice and brown. While browning the beef, I took care of the tomatoes. I cut a small x onto the bottom of each tomato, emerse them in boiling water until the skin begins to peel, then submerge them in an ice bath. Next, I remove the skin, seeds, and base of stem, then chop them up finely. Once the beef is browned to your liking, add the onions, carrot, and celery. I chop my mirepoix very finely, how you do it is up to you. Once the mirepoix is soft and looking ready, I add the garlic. The garlic cooks fast and I drop the herbs in just before the garlic is done. Once everything is ready, I deglaze the pan with wine, then add the tomatoes. I like heat and drop a couple chilis in to give the ragu a kick. This concludes the active cooking part of the sauce. All you have to do now is reduce the heat to low, stir occasionally, and add water if things get too dry. I usually simmer my sauces for 4+ hours, but was in a bit of a rush today and was only able to simmer for a little over 2 hours. It was long enough for the meat to become fork tender and that’s all you really need. I removed the bone, the chilies, and the bay leaf, pulled apart the steak, and made sure the ragu was properly seasoned. Since I made ravioli the day before, I went with quick and easy hand cut pasta to go with the ragu.

Pasta
00 flour (about 3 cups)
eggs (3 local eggs)
olive oil (splash)
water (splash)
salt (pinch)

I put 1 cup of flour, the eggs, salt, and the olive oil into my kitchenaid stand mixer and blend well, then add the rest of the flour. Add flour or water until proper consistency is achieved. The dough should no longer be sticky, but not be dry enough to fall into a bunch of little pieces. Once the dough is looking good, I let the mixer do its magic for 10 minutes, then wrap the dough in plastic, and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. I run the dough through my manual pasta machine and stop at number 6 or 7 depending on which type of pasta I’m making. My machine starts at 0 and the highest number (thinnest pasta) is 9. Since I was going with a rich, heavy sauce, I went for a thicker pasta to absorb the goodness. Once the pasta is rolled to the desired thickness, I flour both sides, fold it over itself a couple times, and cut it with a knife. I usually do strips a little under a half inch wide. My personal preference is for wider, thicker noodles. After the noodles are cut, I unfold them and toss them on a floured surface. It only takes a few minutes for the pasta to cook. Once the pasta was cooked, I tossed it with the ragu, and topped with freshly grated pecorino.

The outcome: I make a lot of ragus and a lot of pasta, so I’ve had plenty of practice. The practice pays off and I had another delicious meal. The rib eye ragu really tasted like rib eye and was quite good. The pasta was its normal, wonderful self.

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