250 gmfresh egg pasta dough25 gmmixed dried wild mushroomsTo taste:fine sea saltTo taste:freshly ground black pepper200 gmfresh small exotic mushroomsTo serve:freshly grated Parmigiano-ReggianoOxtail broth75 mlextra-virgin olive oil100 gmcarrot, roughly chopped100 gmcelery stalks, roughly chopped100 gmonion, roughly chopped100 gmleek, roughly chopped2 kgoxtail, cleaned, trimmed of excess fat and cut roughly into 4cm-long pieces2ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped3flat-leaf parsley sprigs3thyme sprigs1small bay leafTo taste:fine sea salt
For the oxtail broth, heat half of the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep-sided frying pan over medium heat and sauté the carrot, celery, onion and leek until they are nicely browned. Transfer to a large saucepan. In the same frying pan, use the remaining extra-virgin olive oil to sauté the oxtail until it is browned. Add the browned oxtail and the remaining ingredients to the large saucepan with 4 litres water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and slowly simmer without a lid for 3-4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Skim away the excess fat and other particles that come to the surface of the liquid throughout the cooking process. Take the oxtail out and set aside. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer and refrigerate. If there is excess fat, it will solidify at the top of the refrigerated broth. Remove this with a spoon and discard before using the broth. Pick the meat from the bones, discarding any fat or sinew, and reserve. Oxtail broth can be made in advance and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Makes approximately 2.5 litres.
Roll the pasta dough into sheets of 1mm thickness. Cut the pasta into 2cm x 2cm squares. A corrugated roller cutter is best for this job as it makes wonderful jagged-edged squares.
Cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes until the water has cooled and the mushrooms have settled to the top (see note). Lift the mushrooms out of the water and set aside.
Bring 2.4 litres of oxtail broth to the boil. Add the soaked mushrooms, 450gm of reserved braised oxtail meat and a little sea salt and black pepper, if required, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Add the pasta squares and cook for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with the exotic mushrooms and lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Note Soaking the mushrooms is essential as dried mushroom products tend to contain dirt and grit. Lifting the mushrooms out of the water instead of pouring everything through a sieve helps to ensure the dirt is properly removed. Repeat the process of submerging the mushrooms in water if they contain a lot of grit.
This recipe is from Pasta Artigiana by Nino Zoccali, published by Murdoch Books, $49.99, hbk. It has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.