Rich, satisfying, and fragrant with rosemary and juniper berries, this northern Italian ragù is the very essence of Italian comfort food. Be sure to buy two bottles of wine when making this dish—one for the sauce and another to enjoy alongside.
Tagliatelle with Juniper-Spiced Short Rib Ragù
- 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg) bone-in beef short ribs
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) canned diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 bottle (750 ml) Sangiovese or other dry red wine
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1 tsp. juniper berries
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- 2 lb. (1 kg) homemade or store-bought fresh tagliatelle
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
1. In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add as many ribs as will fit without crowding the pot and season with salt and pepper. Brown the ribs on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter. Repeat to brown the remaining ribs. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic, and stir to coat. Add the rosemary, bay leaves and half of the parsley. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the tomatoes, then return the ribs to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Pour in the wine and broth. Tie the juniper berries and peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth and add to the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cover and cook very gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Remove and discard the cheesecloth bundle and bay leaves. Add the remaining 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) tomatoes and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the bones, discarding the bones. Shred or chop the meat coarsely, return to the pot and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining parsley and cover.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta to the pot and stir to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, 2 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and spoon some of the ragù over it. Toss gently, coating the pasta well. Add a splash or two of the pasta-cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Divide among shallow bowls and spoon more ragù on top. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Serves 8 to 10.
Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.