Spinach Tagliatelle with Ham-Mushroom Sauce
Spinach Tagliatelle with Ham-Mushroom Sauce
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  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound spinach tagliatelle
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound chunk pancetta or guanciale, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 pound chunk prosciutto cotto or other mild ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3/4 pound ground veal
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • Nutmeg, for grating
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a generous handful)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and prosciutto and cook until crisp, 2-3 minutes. Crumble in the veal (I use a potato masher). Cook until lightly browned. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf; season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Partially cover and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Add the stock, wine and milk; simmer at a rapid bubble, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Add the pasta, reserved starchy cooking water and cheese to the sauce; toss. Serve in shallow bowls.

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