Your butcher can grind the goat shoulder for this luscious ragu, which was adapted from a recipe by chef Thomas McNaughton of San Francisco's Flour + Water restaurant. Cappellacci, which means "little hats," are conical pasta; you can substitute any top-quality fresh spinach pasta if necessary. If you don't have goat available, lamb is a fine substitute. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100, with the article Goat.
FOR THE PASTA:
- 1 (10-oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed
- 14 egg yolks
- 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
FOR THE RAGÙ:
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 12 oz. ground goat shoulder
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. tomato paste
- 3⁄4 cup red wine
- 1 cup whole peeled canned tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. finely chopped thyme leaves
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 1⁄4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground coriander
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground fennel
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup finely shredded broccoli rabe leaves
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Freshly grated Parmesan, to garnish
Make the cappellacci: Squeeze spinach dry in paper towels and process with yolks in a food processor until smooth. Add flour and ½ tsp. salt; process until dough forms a ball around the blade. Transfer to a work surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Unwrap and quarter dough; cover all but 1 piece with plastic wrap. Using your hands, flatten the piece of dough into a rectangle. Pass dough through widest setting of a hand-cranked pasta roller. Fold dough into thirds to create another rectangle; pass dough through widest setting again, feeding open edge first; repeat folding and rolling twice. Decrease setting one notch; roll pasta through to make a thinner pasta sheet. Lower setting again; repeat through each setting until very thin, about 1⁄16″. Transfer sheet to a floured work surface; repeat above steps with remaining dough pieces. Using a 2″ round cutter, cut out disks of dough. Place a pastry tip over the tip of your index finger; wrap a disk around tip to form a cone, pressing edges to seal. Gently lift lip of the cone, opposite the seam, up and back to resemble the brim of a hat; transfer cappellacci to a baking sheet dusted with flour to dry. Repeat with remaining disks.
Make the ragù: Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Add goat; cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and onion; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook until lightly caramelized, about 1 minute. Add wine; cook, scraping bottom of pan, until evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, thyme, rosemary, ¼ tsp. chile flakes, cumin, coriander, fennel, bay leaf, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 45 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cappellacci; cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and add to ragù, along with remaining chile flakes and broccoli rabe and butter; season with salt and pepper. Toss until pasta is evenly coated in sauce. Divide pasta and sauce among 8 serving bowls; garnish liberally with Parmesan.