5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic finely sliced
500 g of beef cheek, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
500 g of pork ribs
1 glass of dry red wine
3 x 400 g good-quality tinned chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of sugar
600 g of rigatoni
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
In a large saucepan heat the extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat, add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté them for a few minutes.
Add the beef cheek and pork ribs, stirring them for 6-7 minutes until brown on all sides. Pour in the wine and stir occasionally until almost completely evaporated. Add the chopped tomatoes, the bay leaves and the sugar. Tomatoes can be very acidic once they are cooked and the sugar balances their acidity.
Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 2.5-3 hours. Stir occasionally making sure the meat is always covered with liquid. If necessary add ½ glass of hot water. Season it with salt only an hour before turning off the heath.
When the ragu is ready, bring a large pan of slightly salted water to a boil, add the rigatoni and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, add the rigatoni to the ragù and toss
Drain the rigatoni, shaking them well to remove any excess water, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and toss to combine thoroughly. Serve at once with the braised meat as desired. Sprinkle with some Parmigiano Reggiano to serve.
Another forgotten cut to look for this recipe is the feather steak, very well suited as the beef cheek to be braised slowly.
Match this dish with a glass of Negroamaro, an intense ruby-red wine from the Puglia region in southern Italy. Enjoying the dark red berries with hints of spice on the nose whilst the palate is soft and fruity with ripe tannins.