One of my favorite pasta recipes is Gordon Ramsay's tagliatelle with sausage-meat bolognese.
The recipe requires just a few ingredients and only takes 15 minutes to make.
Ramsay's pasta dish is super comforting and reminds me of my favorite Italian restaurant.
I recently discovered this 15-minute tagliatelle recipe while watching "Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course."
Ramsay's 10-episode series first aired in the UK in 2012, but I only began watching it when my dad stumbled upon it on Amazon Prime.
The show follows Ramsay as he demonstrates 100 essential recipes for the home chef, covering everything from cooking with chili to planning the perfect brunch.
"From the kitchen novice to the budding chef, I'm going to give you the confidence, the recipes, and the insider knowledge to make you a better cook," he promises in the first episode.
I learned a lot in the span of 10 hours, and Ramsay's tagliatelle has became a regular in my recipe repertoire.
Ramsay's pasta requires five main ingredients.
To whip up this delicious dish, you'll need:
Dried tagliatelle pasta
Sausages (Ramsay recommends fennel or Sicilian)
Half an onion
A few cloves of garlic
While I was able to find tagliatelle the first time I made this dish, I haven't spotted it at my local supermarket since. But pappardelle always makes a great substitute. Like tagliatelle, pappardelle noodles are long and flat, making them the perfect vessel for the bolognese sauce.
I always start this dish by chopping onions, garlic, and parsley.
One of the best parts about this dish is that there's barely any prep. It takes me about five minutes or less to get everything ready before I start cooking.
And while Italian parsley isn't part of Ramsay's recipe, I love adding it if I have any lying around. The herb brightens all the flavors, and brings a bit of freshness and color to the dish.
Since I don't often use cherry tomatoes like Ramsay recommends, I always dice mine instead of halving them.
One thing I love about this dish is how easily it can be adapted to your preferences — and what you can find in the supermarket. On this night I used cocktail tomatoes, which have a juiciness that works great in the bolognese sauce.
Before I start cooking, I also prep my sausage for the sauce.
You need to peel the casings from the sausages before crumbling the meat. Ramsay recommends slicing each sausage down the middle to help remove their skin.
After putting my pasta into a pot of well-salted boiling water, I throw my onions into a pan.
I let the onions cook for a few minutes first before adding the garlic and parsley to avoid burning them.
Then it's time to throw in the garlic and parsley.
Ramsay recommends letting the garlic and onions "sweat until they're soft" before you add the meat.
Then I add the sausage and use a spatula to break down the chunks of meat while mixing everything together.
Don't forget to sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.
After the sausage meat has browned, I throw in the chopped tomatoes and a can of crushed tomatoes.
The first two times my dad and I made this dish, we thought the sauce was a little on the dry side. Tagliatelle and pappardelle noodles are such perfect vehicles for thick sauces, they almost seem a little naked without one.
Since we already loved the taste of the pasta, we didn't want to drastically change the recipe. The extra can of crushed tomatoes gives the bolognese sauce a bit more oomph in both taste and texture, but still stays true to Ramsay's flavor profile.
While the sauce simmers, I check to see if my pasta is al dente yet.
My method is to always catch one of the pappardelle ribbons in a ladle, run it over some cold water for a few seconds, and then bite into it to see how firm the noodle is.
Then I add two ladlefuls of pasta water to the sauce and take it off the heat while my noodles finish cooking.
I picked up this trick from Ramsay, who notes that the starch from the pasta water helps to thicken the sauce and make it stick to the noodles.
Once the pasta is ready, I drain it and throw my pappardelle into the pan so I can mix it all up in that delicious bolognese sauce.
After making sure the noodles are coated with the sauce, I'll throw some parsley on top.
To finish, I'll grate fresh cheese over the top before digging in.
Ramsay recommends using freshly grated Parmesan, but Gruyère also works great.
Not only does the pasta look delicious, but it smells and tastes amazing. Each bite is super comforting and the sauce is meaty and rich, yet doesn't feel too heavy for a summer dinner.
My mom told me that she always feels "warm inside" when she eats this dish, while my dad loves the taste of the sausage — which he said adds a lot more flavor to the bolognese sauce than ground beef.
Ramsay's quick pasta dish achieves a rare feat. It feels like comfort food, but also tastes just fancy enough to remind you of your favorite Italian restaurant.
One of the things I've missed the most about living in New York is sitting at my favorite little Italian restaurant in the West Village, where the lights are low, the space between the tables is basically nonexistent, and the only thing flowing faster than the red wine is the laughter between me and my girlfriends.
From all the pasta that I've recently made at home, Ramsay's dish is the one that reminds me most of the bolognese that I always used to order. The sauce is rich, the flavors are complex, and if I close my eyes for just a second, I can see myself at that little Italian restaurant again.
For my mom, it didn't remind her of a fancy meal. It brought back memories of her sitting in the kitchen as a kid, digging into her own mother's traditional pasta dishes.
"It feels like home," she told me.
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