I make ragù often, especially in cooler seasons. But I love to eat it any time of the year. Problem is, much of the ragù I order in restaurants is undercooked, rushed, lacking richness. Last night, however, I was very pleased with my order. On the menu, it was listed as Paccheri al Ragu’ di Vitello Bianco (Traditional Amalfi Pasta Paccheri served with veal ragout, fried sage and Parmesan shavings). This dish, which is on the Houston Restaurant Weeks menu at Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar, is the real thing. It would be at home in Italy, and not one diner would complain about it. On the contrary. It was rich, it was moist, and it was cooked with respect and care. I am certain that heavy cream was in the mix, and when plated, that cream (and the other liquids) was part of the whole, not puddling on the plate. It is as good as any ragù I have had in Houston. And, yes, the pasta was good. Made in the Amalfi kitchen, it was al dente and the perfect shape for the meat mixture, pieces of which nestled inside the pasta tubes. (All I required was a touch of salt.) A bottle of Montepulciano and an agreeable dining companion, and you’re set for the evening.
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