Working Man's Ragu
★★★★★ 1 vote5
16 ozpasta of choice (rigatoni, zitoni, anything tubed)
2 clovegarlic, crushed
3 ozhard salami, finely chopped
1 1/2 ozprosciutto, cubed
1 Tbspolive oil
1 pinchcinnamon, ground
1 cheavy cream
2/3 cred wine
6 Tbsptomato paste
4 sprig(s)italian parsley, fresh
How to Make Working Man's Ragu
- In a large pot, bring water to boil, salt, add uncooked pasta. Just shy of al-dente (as they will get a minute of cooking later), remove from heat, reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water, drain, and set aside.
- Finely chop or mince onion, set aside.
- As finely as possible, chop up hard salami.
NOTE: You may need to peel a thin layer of skin from the salami first. If it's there, it's gotta go.
- Preferably with a garlic press (or if you want to sub in 2 tsp of chopped garlic from a jar), crush 2 cloves of garlic.
- In a cast-iron skillet, or frying pan with reasonably high edges, add olive oil and garlic on medium low. Continuously stir garlic to prevent burning for a couple of minutes.
- Cascade the onion, the salami, and the cubed prosciutto into the pan -- the goal here is to have translucent onions, and fried meat just to the edge of crispy, which should take no more than 5-10 minutes.
NOTE: If it's easier, you can start with the meat in the pan until slightly crispy, reserve on paper towels, soften the onions and garlic and then re-add the meat.
- Add the tomato paste (and it MUST be tomato paste, you cannot substitute anything else) to the pan, and be generous with the tablespoons.
- Pour on the wine to deglaze pan. You may not need all 2/3 cup, you may need more. It should be enough to cover the surface area of the pan.
- Scrape up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and mash in the tomato paste, until you have a layer of thick tomato, meat, and aromatics covering the surface of the pan. Turn up the heat to a medium, or medium high. Occasionally mix the paste together and redistribute -- you want to avoid burning the paste, but you need it to caramelize. The tomato paste will visibly darken from a vibrant primary red to a dark burgundy, change slightly in consistency, and reduce -- which can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the heat of the pan. This is when you can progress with the recipe.
- Pour reserved starchy pasta water on to paste, and mix in until you have a thick sauce. Remove from heat.
- Once sauce is no longer simmering, add in heavy cream and mix well until sauce is uniform in color. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon.
- Add in pasta and mix with the sauce for a minute before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.