Yes, making your own pasta adds time. But there is nothing better than warm, cooked-until-the-ends-of-time ragu sauce being caught indecently in strips of pasta cut to first-prize-ribbon-like proportions. If time isn't on your side, use 100g quality dried egg pasta per person, cooked according to packet instructions.
½ tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup smoked* semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup smoked* kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1-2 cups white wine
1-2 cups chicken stock (or reserved cooking liquid from the roast lamb shoulder recipe)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
parmesan or pecorino, to serve
herbs of your choice, to serve
300g plain flour
1. For the ragu, add the oil to a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, golden and fragrant, stirring often to prevent it catching and burning. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Check regularly on the liquid and add more wine or stock if it is reducing too quickly. Season to taste and continue to simmer until desired consistency is achieved. The sauce should be rich and thick to ensure it coats the pasta.
2. For the pasta, process ingredients and a pinch of salt in a food processor until a dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (three to five minutes), then wrap in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for one hour.
3. Divide pasta dough into four, then, working with one piece at a time, feed through pasta machine rollers, starting at the widest setting. Lightly flour dough as you fold and feed it through, reducing settings notch by notch, until pasta is three millimetres thick. Lightly dust the sheets with flour then fold loosely and, using a sharp knife, cut into generous strips of pasta.
4. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add pasta and cook until al dente (about two to three minutes). Drain, add to ragu with cheese and herbs, toss and serve with extra cheese to the side.
*Smoked kalamata olives and semi-dried tomatoes are available from specialist grocers. If you can't source smoked olives and tomatoes, use regular, and add ½ tablespoon paprika for a background smoky flavour.