400g dried pappardelle
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp finely chopped deseeded dried chilli
2 tbsp fennel seeds
600g pork sausage meat
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
175ml white wine
1 carrot, grated
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
grated zest of 1/2 orange
bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme & rosemary, tied up with string
300 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp mascarpone
10 parsley leaves, finely chopped
parmesan, finely grated
salt & pepper
Boil peppercorns for 30 minutes in a small pan of water to soften them, drain.
Toast the fennel seeds & chilli in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes. Whizz to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or pestle & mortar, then add to sausage meat and season with grated nutmeg and salt & pepper.
Heat a touch of olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then add the sausage meat. Do it in batches if you end up stewing the meat. Colour the meat until golden brown – don’t rush, this is where you’ll create a lot of the flavour – then deglaze with a spill of the white wine and cook for a further 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.
In the same pan, on a medium to low heat, add a glug of olive oil, vegetables, garlic, orange zest, fresh herbs and boiled peppercorns. Sweat the vegetables until they are soft, for 20 minutes. Add the sausage meat back to the pan and mix together to make a ragu. Add the rest of the white wine and cook for 5 minutes, deglazing the pan as you go. Add the chicken stock, cover with greaseproof paper and cook on a medium to low heat for 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes and stir, making sure to prevent the bottom of the pan from catching – add more chicken stock if it’s drying out. Once the ragu is cooked, check for seasoning and add the mascarpone.
Add the pappardelle to salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Add a splash of cooking water to the pan of ragu and put on a low heat until gently combined.
When the pasta is cooked, remove it from the water and add it to the pan of ragu to toss. Keep the pasta in the cooking water. Vigourously toss the pasta in the pan for at least 30 seconds to work the gluten, adding a splash more starchy salt water if it starts to dry up. Continue tossing the pasta until the sauce emulsifies and is viscous, then add the parsley and fold together. Top with parmesan and serve immediately.
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