Mafalde are long flat pasta ribbons with a scalloped edge, similar to pappardelle. It is thought to have been named after Princess Mafalda of Savoy.
For this noble pasta there should also be an equally noble sauce. Ragu’ di carne was created in the 19th century for the Neapolitan upper classes, a fact that meat was used in the cooking, and the manner of its cooking: long and slow. Useful tip: As it takes a long time to make, its best made the day before. The time and care taken to make this sauce will create a rich meaty sauce which matches perfectly with the mafalda pasta.
900g Beef Or Pork Fillet
3 Teaspoons Of Flat Leaf Parsley Finely Chopped
250g Pancetta Cubes
125mL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
60g Unsalted Butter
2 Large Onions Diced
1 Garlic Clove Finely Sliced
250g Prosciutto Cut Into Small Pieces
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
500mL Red Wine, preferably Aglianico
100g Tomato Puree Mixed With 60mL Water
Tie the meat with string like a salami. Mix the parsley with pancetta and season. With a paring knife make several holes in the meat and stuff them with the parsley and pancetta mix.
Splash a little olive oil and butter in a flame proof large oven dish, and cook over a low heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions, garlic, basil, prosciutto and pancetta and saute’ for about 30 minutes over a low heat.
Season with salt and pepper and add one tablespoon of red wine with one tablespoon of the diluted tomato puree until the wine has evaporated. Continue this process until they are used up. This should take over an hour. During this time stir frequently and turn the meat over each time.
When the diluted tomato puree and wine has been evaporated, cover the meat with lukewarm water. Cover the dish and on the lowest possible setting, let it simmer for about 2 hours. Transfer the meat onto a warm platter and cover to prevent the meat from drying. Simmer the sauce for an extra 30 minutes until the sauce is dark in colour and slightly bitty from the bits of meat that has invariably broken off the fillet.
Serve the sauce with mafalde pasta cooked al dente. You can slice the meat and add it to the pasta, or use the meat for a second course, served with saute potatoes and salad.
Ideal with Taurasi.