Pharoah’s Wheel

Pharoah’s Wheel

“Pharaoh’s Wheel: Tagliolini colla Crosta” – via Tablet Magazine
Crusty Pasta with Bolognese Sauce, adapted from King Solomon’s Table


1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup dry red or white wine
One 14.5-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes
One 3-ounce can tomato paste
3 cups beef broth or water
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper, like cayenne
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound tagliolini pasta
1/2 cup dark seedless raisins
1/2 cup coarsely ground whole almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 pound kosher pastrami, salami, or pickled tongue, chopped into small chunks


1. Heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Toss in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and most of the parsley and lightly brown for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Then, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Pour in the wine and raise the heat, allowing the wine to evaporate completely. Cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break apart the tomatoes.
3. Add the beef broth or water and cook, covered, over very low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be nice and thick. If it is too thin, cook a few minutes longer until it loses its excess liquid. Add raisins, almonds, pine nuts, and pastrami, salami, or tongue. Add salt to taste and the hot red pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a round, 12- to 16-cup-capacity oven-proof baking dish.
5. Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the tagliolini, bring the pot back to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and put the pasta into a large bowl with the meat sauce. Toss everything together to thoroughly distribute.
6. Put the pasta mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 to 1/2 hours, or until a nice crust has formed. Invert onto a platter and serve warm with the remaining chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings