FXcuisine's Ragù FintoHome >> Recipes
Can you invent an authentic Neapolitan recipe? I believe you can. In my Neapolitan Ragù recipe I have shown you how to make this cult meatless meat sauce in under 7 hours, but you must know that most mamas in Naples nowadays make various shorter versions collectively known as ragù finto [ragoo fintaw] or fake ragù. Here is my own - not traditional and yet very much in line with Neapolitan orthodoxy. You can make it in under 20 minutes and it is really, really awesome.
Peel your sausage and slice lengthwise...
... then lengthwise again and finally crosswise to get the smallest cubes you can.
Peel and dice the onion.
Pour a little olive oil in your favorite pan - here my anvil-heavy iron pan from Greuze.
Heat the oil, then add onion and sausage in a cascade.
You could start with the sausage with no oil if it has lots of fat, then remove the meat when it has become slightly crispy, and let the onion soften in the rendered fat. We will now add tomato concentrate and bring it to the edge of charred.
That's what I call a heaping tablespoon...
...soon joined by two others of the same caliber.
Douse with red wine. Do not worry about the exact quantity, a small glass, half a cup.
The wine serves the triple purpose of diluting the tomato concentrate so as to spread it evenly, to deglaze whatever browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and to add a little sugar to balance the tomato's tartness. If you put a little too much wine, just let it boil off.
Mix well so that you obtain a smooth mixture that covers the bottom of the pan ...
... and let it darken over medium-high heat, mixing if necessary to avoid any burning.
Clean setup for the showdown.
Bought pasta on FXcuisine? I know, but these are durum wheat bronze extruded paccheri straight from Naples - the exact pasta served in Neapolitan restaurants. Drop them in the boiling salted water.
Our sauce has toned down considerably.
We'll now dilute the darkened tomato concentrate with a couple ladlefuls from the pasta sauce. Why use the pasta water? It's available and hot, and the starch will help build up the sauce's consistency if the need be.
Mix the tomato paste with the water. If your tomato has stuck to the pan and you see a black layer at the bottom, you can either remove this to another pot to finish the sauce or just continue, ignoring 20 years of research that consistently shows the bleeding heart syndrome to be caused by burnt tomatoes.
Turn the heat off and wait until the sauce has stopped bubbling. Add the cream and enjoy the white-on-red contrast. Beautiful! Please consider that although the cream is essential to my recipe, a Neapolitan mama would probably not have used it.
Whisk the sauce to combine the tomato sauce with the cream. Don't look too often into the pot or you'll make a mess playing with the pseudo-chaotic patterns.
Don't stop whisking until you have a smooth, uniform color. Check seasoning for salt, pepper and chili powder (I use Piment d'Espelette but this is personal).
Remove a pacchero from the water and cleanly trim the end with a kitchen knife to test for doneness.
When the pasta is still too hard to eat, but just so, remove it to a hot dish. It is imperative you keep it undercooked by a full minute. Readers of FXcuisine.com use a slotted spoon, sieve or skimmer to remove the pasta from the water rather than empty the whole pot down the drain. Smart people since they can always return the pasta to the pot if the need be. Now you've been told!
What next? A diet perhaps, but let's wait until tomorrow.
Combine the sauce with the pasta, mix and serve. Unless you have shark repellant and a stun gun in the kitchen, do not let your guests inside and do not, under any circumstances, bring the whole dish out or there will be blood. The pasta is so good and addictive with that hit-me-back caramelized tomato taste subtly diluted with the cream - people will just do anything to get more.