Although this dish takes three hours to make, I promise you its so worth it. The short ribs become so incredibly tender and moist, they fall off the bone. Its the kind of meal you will dream about on a snowy night. The twist here is the shaved bittersweet chocolate, which gives the dish a sweet and savory yet extremely subtle component. You can leave it out, but trust me when I tell you its the element everyone will be talking about when they taste this.
Tagliatelle with Short Rib Ragù
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, chopped (about ½ cup)
2½ pounds short ribs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes (whole or diced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2½ cups beef broth
¾ cup red wine
1 pound fresh or dried tagliatelle
4 to 6 teaspoons shaved bittersweet chocolate
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the pan and set it aside. Add the short ribs to the pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes total.
Meanwhile, combine the onion, carrot, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, and tomato paste in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Once the short ribs are browned, add the minced vegetables to the pot along with the pancetta and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and simmer for another hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the short ribs and let cool briefly on a plate. Shred the meat and return it to the pot, discarding the bones and the bay leaf. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes for dried pasta or 2 to 3 minutes for fresh.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the pot with the short rib ragù and stir to combine. If needed, add the reserved pasta liquid ¼ cup at a time to moisten the pasta. Transfer to serving bowls, top each bowl with 1 teaspoon of chocolate shavings, and serve immediately.