In the Christian Church, the lamb is the symbol of purity, peace and also the Resurrection. In Italy, it is traditionally part of the Easter holiday dishes. For example, a cake in the shape of a lamb or a ragù of lamb with garganelli. Garganelli are a type of egg-based pasta formed by rolling a flat, square noodle into a cylindrical shape and it resembles ribbed quills with points at both ends. The ragù tastes best with egg pasta.
For homemade egg pasta, the rule of thumb is usually 1 large egg per 100 g of flour. For special occasions, however, the pasta can be more colourful. In Piedmont, for example, yolks are used instead of whole eggs – and in high doses: 30 yolks per 1 kg of flour! Yolks not only give the dough a deep yellow colour, they also make it more elastic when it is kneaded. The dough is also less moist and easier to work with. Use the remaining egg whites for cookies, meringue or a protein-rich frittata.
Making pasta yourself is less complicated than you think. Use your food processor to pre-knead the dough to speed up the process. To do this, put the flour in the mixing bowl and switch to low speed. Cover if necessary, because the flour will create some “dust”. Slowly pour the eggs and yolks through the filler. Now mix the dough on higher speed for 1 minute until it is finely crumbly. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead by hand for about 5 more minutes until smooth. The longer the dough is kneaded, the more elastic it will become. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes. For those in a hurry, you can also find fresh egg pasta in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, sometimes even garganelli.
Garganelli with Lamb Ragout
For the garganelli
- 400 g flour, Italian flour 00 or all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 4 yolks
For the lamb ragù
- 500 g lamb, shoulder boned and minced
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion
- ½ carrot
- ½ stick celery
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 ml wine, dry white
- 200 g tomatoes, chopped
- 500 ml water
- Parmesan, cheese for serving
- olive oil
- Have your butcher bone and freshly mince the lamb.
- Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery. Heat the oil gently in a frying pan. Sauté the onion until translucent, then add the remaining vegetables and herbs and sauté a little. Now add the meat and brown well. Deglaze with wine. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add water and simmer on a low heat for 2-3 hours, covered. If the ragù is too thick, add a little water. If it is too runny, extend the cooking time
- In the meantime, prepare the garganelli. For this, you will need a gnocchi board with the appropriate wooden stick. Prepare the dough as described above. Or by hand: spread flour on a work surface, form a hollow in the middle and add the eggs and yolks at the same time. Now, using a fork, mix the eggs with the flour from the centre outwards. Once the ingredients have combined, knead the dough by hand for 10-15 minutes. At the end, the dough should be smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- After the resting time, roll out the dough thinly with a pasta machine or with a pasta rolling pin, so that 2 mm thick dough sheets are formed. Cut dough sheets into 4x4 cm squares. Dust one side of the dough with flour. Now place the squares one by one with this side down on the gnocchi board. Place the wooden stick at the bottom left corner of the dough and roll up the square diagonally to the top right corner with the help of the wooden stick. Make sure the opposite point is pressed down well. Carefully unwrap the wooden stick. Leave the garganelli to dry so long until they hold their shape on their own.
- As soon as the ragù is ready, remove the sprigs of herbs. Cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Add the pasta to the sauce and serve with plenty of Parmesan cheese. Add olive oil if desired.