Homemade Pasta Squares with Oxtail Sauce

Total Time:
4 hr 15 min
45 min
Inactive Prep:
3 hr 30 min
6 servings


  • 3 pounds oxtails, cut into pieces at the joints
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped red onions
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 2/3 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Italian tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 recipe Basic Pasta Dough, recipe follows, rolled to a thickness of 1/16-inch
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


Remove all the extra fat from the oxtail pieces and set aside. Bring a medium size pot of cold water to a boil and add salt, to taste. Add the oxtail pieces and, when water returns to a boil, transfer the oxtails to a platter and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Discard the water.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and, when hot, add the oxtails and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the pancetta, chopped onion, carrot, and celery and saute until the vegetables are very tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves and parsley and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the wine and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits, until nearly evaporated. Add the remaining wine and broth and bring to a boil. Return the oxtails to the pan and return to a boil. Cover the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender and easily pulls away from the bone. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the oxtail pieces to a large plate and set aside to cool. Using a spoon, skim any fat that has accumulated on the top of the sauce and discard. Continue to cook the sauce until it has reduced to a sauce consistency and coats the back of a spoon. Keep warm. When the oxtail pieces have cooled enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, shred into bite size pieces, and return the meat to the sauce. Cover and keep warm.

While the sauce is cooking, roll the pasta dough into sheets about 1/16-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled out pasta into 3-inch squares using a scalloped pastry wheel and set aside on a plate or baking sheet in the refrigerator, covered, until sauce is finished and you are ready to cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil and add salt to taste. Add the pasta squares and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta. The pasta should be al dente. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and toss with the remaining tablespoon of extra- virgin olive oil. Divide the pasta evenly among 6 plates, and ladle the sauce over each serving of pasta. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, sprinkle with parsley and mint and serve immediately.

Basic Pasta Dough (Pasta All' Uovo):
1 pound all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
8 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour and salt. Process to mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes.

Take a handful of dough at a time and form into a firm ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Roll out each dough ball into desired shape in a pasta machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Yield: about 1 3/4 pounds fresh pasta