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Cavatappi with Veal Ragu

There are several styles of cavatappi pasta, but generally it is spiral-shaped and sometimes tubular. The shape is ideal for capturing flavorful bits of meat and pools of sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 lb. boneless veal leg or shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground fennel seeds
  • 1 can (28 oz.) no-salt diced peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup fruity red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb. dried cavatappi pasta
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the veal with salt and pepper. When oil is nearly smoking, add the veal (do not overcrowd the pan) and brown the pieces, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.

Add the pancetta and sauté, stirring to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the pancetta is browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.

Return the meat to the pan along with the fennel seeds, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and broth and stir to mix. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and nearly falling apart, at least 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente (tender but firm to the bite). Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the ragu over the pasta, add the marjoram and stir to mix well. Divide the pasta among individual bowls and serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.