- 2 pounds oxtail, cut into 2-inch pieces (available from butcher shop)
- Black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, split
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 jars or cans San Marzano or Jersey Fresh tomatoes (28 ounces each), crushed with your hands
- Fresh Orecchiette with Ricotta (see below) or 1½ pounds dried orecchiette
- 8 ounces 00 flour
- 8 ounces semolina flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 pound ricotta
- 2 large eggs, beaten
Dry the oxtail pieces and season with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the oxtail. Cook on all sides until the oxtail pieces are dark brown and caramelized. Remove the oxtail from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to low.
Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and return the oxtail to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 4 hours until the oxtail meat begins to fall off the bone.
Remove the oxtail pieces from the sauce and pick the meat off the bone, discarding the bone. Return the meat to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the orecchiette.
ORECCHIETTE WITH RICOTTA
Mix the 00 flour, semolina and salt together. Put the mixed flour, eggs and ricotta into a standing mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment, and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.
After the dough forms, remove it from the bowl and knead it by hand (with some additional flour if necessary) for about 5 minutes. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out into logs approximately the diameter of a dime. Cut the dough into “coins” about inch thick. Using a gnocchi board and your thumb, press the dough into the board and form the orecchiette. Cook the orecchiette in salted boiling water for about 3–4 minutes until tender.
Before serving, combine the pasta and sauce in a pot—about 60% pasta to 40% sauce—along with a small scoop of pasta cooking water. Top with grated Parmesan to taste.