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Butcher's Ragù with Fusilli

Con Poulos
Active time 25 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 20 mins
Yield 8
At Eataly's pasta and pizza counter, Mario Batali's team serves three different pasta shapes with a choice of about five different sauces ("made by some crazy dudes," says Batali). For the first time ever, he's going to let his customers match the sauce with the pasta shape. This sauce, an ever-so-slightly creamy ragù made with ground beef, pancetta and ham, is flavored with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound thickly sliced baked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fusilli
  • Freshly grated pecorino, for serving

How to Make It

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the pancetta and ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until shiny and rust-colored, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the diced ham, milk, white wine and water to the casserole and simmer the ragù over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and saucy, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Season the ragù with salt and pepper.

  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fusilli, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the fusilli and add it to the sauce. Stir well to coat the pasta. Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls and serve right away, passing grated pecorino at the table.