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Recipe: Garganelli with Spicy Pig Tail Ragu by Chris Leach

Incredibly talented chef Chris Leach, stunned the crowd at our Pasta & That event by making his hand rolled Garganelli with slow cooked spicy pig tail ragu. Enjoy!

Serves 4 people

Part 1: The Sauce


  • 1kg pig
  • 100g lard
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 100g ‘nduja (spicy pork salami with a very high fat content made with Calibrian chili flakes)
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g butter


  1. To make the ragu, begin by browning the pig tails.
  2. Heat the lard and in batches in a heavy based pot, add the tails, turning till they get evenly browned.
  3. When the tails are all nicely browned, set aside and begin to cook the veg.
  4. Add the onions, carrot, celery and garlic to the pot and cook till soft.
  5. Add 50g of the ‘nduja and cook for 2-3 minutes. Save the rest for when ready to serve.
  6. Return the pig tails to the pot and add the tomatoes and wine.
  7. Bring to a gentle simmer, tightly cover, and cook gently until the meat starts to separate from the bone.
  8. Using tongs, remove the tails from the pan and let cool slightly.
  9. Pick through the meat and remove the bones. Be careful these can be very small especially at the end of the tails.
  10. Discard the bones and shred the meat and skin, and add back to the sauce.
  11. Season with salt and pepper until it tastes good to you.
  12. The ragu can be chilled and left in the fridge. The flavour will improve with a day in the fridge.

Part 2: The Pasta (Garganelli)


  • 300g “00” flour
  • 60g semolina
  • 100 g (about 2 large) eggs
  • 90 g (5 to 6) egg yolks


  1. Mix the dough, knead for 10 minutes then rest for at least one hour.
  2. Roll the dough down to the thinnest setting on your pasta machine and cut into squares around 2.5 cm.
  3. Roll on a garganelli board by wrapping the square around a dowel and rolling over the grooves of the board.
  4. Put a large pan of water on to boil and season generously

Part 3: Serving


  1. In a saucepan add the ragu, butter and the rest of the ‘nduja and gently heat until the sauce begins to come together.
  2. Add chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice and taste.
  3. Drop the pasta in the water and cook.
  4. When ready, drain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water.
  5. Add the pasta to the sauce with a good splash of pasta water and toss vigorously.
  6. Divide among 4 plates topping with a healthy amount of parmesan, a drizzle of good olive oil and a few cracks of black pepper.


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Photography by Caitlin Isola