Legendary Dishes | Gargati con il Consiero (homemade pasta with aromatic meat and vegetable sauce)

ITALY

One of these days we will reveal the origin of this curiously named pasta and sauce ‘dish of the poor’ made with leftovers.

Nowadays ‘the councillor’ is a rich meat and vegetable and homemade pasta dish.

For authenticity the councillor should be served with the fresh egg pasta of Veneto, known as gargato Veneto.

Penne rigate is a substitute if you are unable to make your own pasta.

For this quantity of sauce use 500 g of pasta.

Lard remains a key ingredient along with tomatoes (paste or whole), herbs and variable meats, whether cooked or cured, raw or fresh. These can include bacon, beef, bresaola, chicken, pancetta, mortadella, pork, prosciutto cooked, prosciutto raw, salami, sopressa and turkey.

Vegetables include the entire range of the seasons, from artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, bruscandoli, cabbage, carrot, leek, onion, pea, radicchio, shallot.

Pasta

  • 300 g 00 flour / fine ground durum wheat semolina
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt, pinch
  • Water

Pour the flour onto a clean surface, make a hole in the centre, add the eggs and some salt, knead for 15 minutes into a soft dough, using a little water to ease the process (depending on the flour you have at hand).

Press the dough in small doses through the die for making the gargati shape. Cut into 3 cm long pieces. Place on a flour-dusted surface and leave to dry.

Sauce

  • 400 ml meat broth
  • 400 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 250 g seasonal green vegetables, chopped small
  • 200 g assorted cooked and cured meat, chopped small
  • 200 g chicken breast / turkey breast, minced
  • 150 g shallots, sliced thin
  • 100 g onion, chopped small
  • 75 g red radicchio heart, chopped small
  • 65 ml white wine
  • 50 g carrot (young, small), chopped
  • 50 g lard from pancetta / pork belly, cubed
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 30 g butter
  • 20 g grana padano cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 parsley sprigs, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 2 gratings nutmeg

In a large heavy-bottomed pot sweat the lard, onion and shallots in the butter and the oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the meats, fry for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the broth. Stir and fry for five minutes. Reduce heat.

Add the herbs (except the parsley), seasonings and wine.

Simmer for 30 minutes, then add the vegetables plus the carrots.

Cook the vegetables just long enough to take off the raw edge.

Serve the sauce with the pasta and a dressing of cheese and parsley.