This recipe assumes you’ve leftover turkey leg from Christmas Day (use this dark meat, not the dryer breast meat which is better in a sandwich alongside excess stuffing plus cranberry and bread sauces).
For the pasta:
200g 00 flour
3 large free range egg yolks
1 large free range egg
Fine semolina, for dusting
For the sauce:
2 tbsp light olive oil, to cook
2 stalks of celery, very finely diced
1 banana shallot, very finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
250g pre-cooked turkey leg, pulled or diced
175ml dry white vermouth or dry white wine
350ml turkey stock
1 saved parmesan rind (optional)
140g full fat creme fraiche
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Freshly grated parmesan, to serve
Feel free to follow the pasta recipe from whichever trusted book you pick up. But if you need another method: to make the pasta, pile the flour onto a clean surface and create a hole in the middle. Add a good pinch of salt, then tip the egg yolks and egg into the centre. Use a fork to pop the yolks, then whisk the flour into the eggs, working it in gradually from the edge of the circle.
Flour a hand and start to mix the egg and flour until it resembles crumbs, then push and pat the dough into a ball. Then, using the heel of your hand and much of your body weight, knead the dough for around eight minutes until elastic and silky. Put the pasta dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 30 mins.
Once that time has passed, sprinkle a tray with semolina and fix a pasta machine to your kitchen surface or food processor (you could do this with a rolling pin, but the recipe assumes you’ve a pasta machine collecting dust somewhere in your cupboards). Flatten the dough into a rectangle, cut into three and pass through the pasta machine up to the second thinnest setting on the machine. As you work, lay the pasta sheets on the semolina dusted tray and dust with more semolina to prevent the sheets sticking to one another.
Roll the pasta sheets into cigar shapes, then cut to 2-3cm wide pieces to create the pappardelle. Toss in the semolina, so that you have a tangled, but not sticky or unmanageable, quantity of pasta. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel until required, refrigerating if not using imminently.
For the ragu, measure the light olive oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole over a low-medium heat. When warm, add the celery, shallot and a pinch of salt and cook gently for 4 mins or so, until both are translucent and sweet. Scrape in the garlic and two thirds of the thyme and cook for 1 min before adding the turkey.
Increase the temperature to medium-high and let the turkey fry for 1 min. Create some space in the pan and pour in the vermouth. Leave to bubble and reduce by half before pouring in the turkey stock and plopping-in the parmesan rind. Simmer for 30 mins (or more) until the stock is much reduced, then stir-in the creme fraiche and cook for 5 mins more. Open your red wine (if it’s not already open).
Bring a large pan of heavily salted water to the boil. When rolling, drop in the pappardelle and cook for 3 mins. Drain the pasta, saving some of the water. Ideally, ladle the ragu into a wide frying pan or saucepan, add the pasta and toss around the pan until glossy, adding starchy pasta water if necessary. Decant into 4 bowls, topping with grated lemon, orange, the remaining thyme leaves and plenty of good quality parmesan.
Recipe & image: Ed Smith in collaboration with Borough Market.
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