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Oxtail parcels (ravioli di coda di manzo) – by Giorgio Locatelli

11 September 2006

Ingredients
(Serves 32)

For the basic egg pasta
1kg 00 flour
Pinch salt
4 egg yolks
6 eggs

For the oxtail filling
1 oxtail, chopped into four or five pieces
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 2cm dice
2 large banana shallots, cut into 2cm dice
1 bouquet garni
70g belly pork
350ml dry white wine
50g tomato paste
1 litre chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, plus 1 egg beaten, to brush the pasta
40g parmesan
Half quantity of basic egg pasta dough
50g unsalted butter
4 small sprigs of rosemary, to finish
4 cloves garlic

Method
If you are using a food processor, sieve the flour into the bowl, add the salt. Start machine and slowly add yolks, followed by whole eggs. Keep motor running slowly, or it will heat up the pasta too much and also "beat" rather than mix.

If you are making the pasta by hand, turn the flour into a mound on a clean surface, make a well in the middle, put in the salt, put the eggs (unbroken) in to the middle. With your hands, break the eggs then slowly start work in the flour a little at a time, until it all becomes absorbed and comes together (if you are using a food processor, at this point switch off the machine, take out the dough and put it on a clean work surface).

Dust the dough, if necessary, and have a bowl of water handy to dip your hands to help add some humidity to the dough and bring it together if it is being stubborn. Work the ball of dough by pushing it with the heel of your hand, then folding the top back on itself, turning it a little clockwise. Repeat again and again, for about 10 minutes until it is springy, but still quite firm and difficult to work - if it feels too soft, add a little more flour as you are kneading. Divide the dough into four balls, wrap in clingfilm and keep at room temperature until you are ready to use it.

For the filling: Rinse oxtail and place in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skim, drain and set aside, discarding the water.

Put oil, garlic, carrots and shallots into a large pan, cook gently for about 10 minutes, then add bouquet garni, belly pork and the oxtail. Cook gently for five to six minutes, add the white wine and continue to cook, until it reduces completely. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock, bring to the boil, skim, turn down heat, simmer until meat falls apart. Take off the heat. Cool.

Take out meat, put in a bowl. Take out vegetables and put in a separate bowl. Put remaining liquid in pan through a fine sieve, put back on to the heat and simmer until it thickens to a sauce consistency.

Flake oxtail meat, discarding bones and any fatty parts. Mix in half reserved vegetables, whiz to a rough paste in food processor. Season. Add egg and parmesan. Mix together - it should come together easily in soft balls, so if it seems too dry, mix in a little of the sauce. Reserve.

Put pasta dough through machine. Mark the centre of your pasta strip, brush one half with beaten egg, then place little mounds of oxtail mixture, two abreast, leaving a space of about 3-4cm between each mound.

Fold the other half of the pasta over the top, carefully matching top edges, and pressing them together. Then with your hand gently press down over the rest, so that the two halves of pasta fit together.

Press down around each raviolo, making sure the pasta is quite smooth. Take a fluted ring cutter that is about 1cm bigger in circumference than the filling, and cut out each raviolo. Discard all the trimmings. Press out any air trapped inside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Melt butter with rosemary in a large sauté pan. When the butter begins to foam add sauce. Put ravioli into boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain and transfer to pan containing sauce. Toss gently for a minute or so and serve.

By Giorgio Locatelli

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