Ben and Mike make a homemade pasta designed to impress that special someone — or at the very least the other guys at the table.
2 cups plain flour
3/4 ounce dried porcini
1 pound stewing steak
2 sticks celery
2 cloves garlic
2 glugs olive oil
2 ounces pancetta cubes
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup passata
1/2 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 chunk Parmesan
Combine the flour and the eggs with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Knead until you have a smooth dough. Rest the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Boil a kettle and pour a cup of hot water over the porcini mushrooms to soak.
Cut the beef into large cubes and toss them in the seasoned flour. Peel and dice the onion, carrots and celery into small cubes, then mince the garlic.
Pour the oil into a large saucepan over a high heat, and chuck in the beef. Brown the beef well on all sides before removing to a plate for a moment. Throw the pancetta, onion, carrots, celery and garlic into the same pan.
Fry the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes until a bit softer, then stir through the tomato purée. Squeeze the liquid from the porcini mushrooms, roughly chop them and add to the pan, saving the liquid for later. Pour in the wine and let it bubble away for a few minutes before adding in the passata, stock, reserved porcini liquid and the bay leaves.
Add the beef back into the pan, cover and set the heat very low. Cook for 2 hours, then uncover and cook for a further 1/2 hour.
Roll the pasta dough to about 2 millimeters thick using a pasta machine or a rolling pin on a floured surface. Cut it into long strips about 1/2-inch wide by gently folding the pasta over onto itself and slicing through several layers at once (or use a pasta machine attachment).
Boil a large pan of salted water, and pour in a glug of oil. Lower in the pasta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes so that it is just cooked, then drain.
Scatter the chopped parsley into the beef, and add another glug of oil over the pasta just before serving. Serve as a big plate of pasta alongside the pot of beef, with Parmesan and fresh parsley on the side for everyone to dig in!
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