I was making a Beef Ragu the other day with Tagliatelle pasta-which by the way was super fantastic-and I learned a new term.
I mean, I thought I knew what this meant but not related to pasta. When adding olive oil to a salad dressing, one would add it to the ingredients in the blender, and that to me is emulsifying.
Alas, there is more to learn!
The recipe I was using indicated that the Ragu had to simmer on the stovetop in my dutch oven for a couple of hours. Check. When I was ready to pull everything together, I was to ladle a few cups of the Ragu into a frying pan and while the pasta was cooking in the water, the Ragu was to be on high heat. Check. Once the pasta was done (which was 1 minute less than the package instructions), I was to take tongs and add the pasta to the Ragu. Check. THEN I was to take about a half cup of the pasta water and ADD it to the Ragu and pasta, continuing the gently stir the pasta in the Ragu/pasta water.
By adding the pasta water to the Ragu and pasta, the starch in the water allows the sauce to stick to the pasta better, rather than run off the noodle.
I mean, I knew that I should never rinse cooked noodles with water, but to actually add the pasta water to the Ragu-this is called emulsifying… I mean seriously. Mind. Blown.
Maybe you already knew this. And if so, all the Nona’s of the world would be proud. Me? All the Nona’s of the world looked at me as whispered… “finally”.
Want a great Beef Ragu that is easy to make? Yup, it takes about 2.5 hours to cook on the stovetop, but the meat is melt. in. your. mouth. Respond to this email and I will gladly send you the recipe.
But each time you make pasta, make sure to EMULSIFY.
Stay sassy friend.