Cortecce with Cilento’s ragu
2h 40 min
1h 30 min
2h 30 min
Cortecce cù raù rù Ciliento
Homemade pasta with ragù
The cortecce with Cilento ragu are a classic dish on Sunday or on holidays when the family gets together. On long winter evenings they become an occasion for meeting with friends; preparing the cortecce with the Cilento ragù, like any other home made dish, on the other hand, is a way to be together, to meet up and tell each other. The preparation of homemade pasta is now also an opportunity for cultural exchanges, just think of the many farms that organize more and more “educational” days dedicated to tourists and anyone who wants to learn the secrets of the cuisine of the past. The cortecce are based on durum wheat and water. Their short and rough shape resembles the shavings of which the floors of the joinery from which they are named are covered.
They are also called “four fingers” because being a stick of about eight centimeters, four fingers are required to get them. The cortecce are a mixture between a fusillo and a cavatello. It is a typical Salerno format and are widely used in catering throughout the Cilento coast. Due to the pulpy and wrinkled consistency, cortecce need rich seasonings to be enjoyed to the fullest, which is why they go well with Cilento ragout.
Nonna Claudia also reveals all the precautions to prepare an excellent Cilento ragout based on sausage, ribs and pork rind rolls, a seasoning that has a long italian tradition. In ancient times on 17 January, the day of Sant’Antonio Abate (Sant’Antuono), Carnival began in Cilento and for the whole period until Shrove Tuesday families gathered after killing the pig. In the houses there was an abundance of every good thing, where the cortecce with the Cilento ragu were not lacking and the party was assured, every evening at a different home where you feasted, sang and danced supported also by the necessary dose of local wine—.
- 500g re-milled semolina flour
- 2 eggs
- 230ml room temperature water
- 1 Kg peeled tomatoes
- 500g pork ribs
- 500g half-aged sausage
- 300g pork rinds
- 50g goat cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of parsley
- j.e. salt and black pepper
Peel and finely chop the 2 cloves of garlic, wash, dry and chop the parsley, grate the cheese
Remove the fat from the pork rinds, flame them to remove bristles, wash and dry them with a cloth, spread them upwards on the part you have cleaned of the fat.
Sprinkle the pork rinds with salt and pepper, cover with half the garlic, half parsley and all the cheese
Roll the pork rinds one by one and tie them with kitchen string or sewing thread
Pour the oil into a large saucepan, put the pork rinds, the ribs, the garlic, the parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper, fry for 5 minutes on a moderate heat, stirring occasionally
Pass the tomatoes with a vegetable pass or an immersion blender and add them to the meat by pouring them into the center of the pot
Wash the sausage, peel it, cut it into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the sauce
When the sauce starts to boil, put the lid on and cook on a low heat for 1 hour and 30, stirring occasionally. When the sauce has thickened it is ready to be used
While the ragù is cooking, start making the pasta, pour the semolina flour on a pastry board or in a large bowl and make the classic fountain*
At the center of the fountain, pour half of the water and begin to knead and gradually add all the water. If you want a tastier dough you can add before starting to knead 2 eggs
Knead the dough vigorously for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and compact
We form a loaf and wrap it in a slightly damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes in the fridge
After the rest time, cut the pasta into small pieces
Roll out the dough as if they were breadsticks, from the maximum circumference of a little finger and always sprinkle with semolina to prevent them from sticking
Put the water on the fire and when it boils, lower the pasta, salt and turn with the skimmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Use a very large pot, because otherwise the bark will stick
Put half ragu in a pan
- * If you like cheese on pasta, you can use whatever you prefer but the ideal would be a semi-seasoned goat cheese.
- * The sauce must be degreased, so remove the fat that is on the surface with a spoon or with paper towels.
- It is recommended to season the cavatelli with the hot sauce.
- The flours are not all the same, therefore, when you knead, adjust with water, the dough should not be too hard nor let it be soft.
- Do not leave the pasta uncovered otherwise it will dry out.
- The flour must be strictly semolina.
- *The fountain is the hole made in the flour so as not to let the liquid ingredients come out.
- The ragù can be kept in the fridge for 2 days, it can also be frozen and stored for 2 months.
- The cooked cortecce can be kept in the fridge for 2 days.
- Raw bark can be frozen, paying attention to two things:
1) Let them freeze in a tray without overlapping them, then put them in containers or envelopes
2) Do not defrost them before cooking them.
- Pastry board
- Large bowl
- Carving knife
- Kitchen twine or sewing thread
- Cooking pan
- Serving dish or baking dish