Maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta with Marchigiano ragù.
Maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta with Marchigiano ragù is a traditional recipe from the Le Marche region in Central Italy. Made with chicken, beef and pork, this rich slow cooked Marche-style ragù is so full of flavour. And the pasta is melt in your mouth delicious!
Maccheroncini di Campofilone is a traditional egg pasta from the Medieval town of Campofilone. This pasta dates back to the 1400s. Interestingly, most types of egg pasta were originally made to be used while fresh. However, this ultra-fine ribbon pasta was invented as a way to have dried egg pasta all through the year.
Today, this pasta is dried flat on sheets of special parchment paper and sold wrapped in paper inside a characteristic cardboard box with a plastic window through which you can see the pasta. You can read more about the history of maccheroncini di Campofilone if you click here.
Of course, you can use other types of pasta with Marchigiano ragù. I would recommend you use a pasta that is similar to the one I used. Thin ribbons like tagliolini or strands such as spaghetti or even angel hair.
Traditionally maccheroncini di Campofilone is eaten with a meat sauce known as ragù Marchigiano (Marche-style ragu). This ragù is considered a rival to Bolognese sauce. The main difference lies in the fact that for Bolognese sauce Italians use only pancetta and beef skirt or a mix of ground beef and pork. Instead, in Marchigiano ragù, it is customary to put in a bigger mixture of meats.
Recipes can include a combination of veal, beef, chicken pieces and giblets, pork meat and ribs, sausages, lardo and sometimes, even duck meat. Many recipes also add a beef marrow bone to the sauce.
The recipe I have used here, I found on the website of a producer of maccheroncini di Campofilone. It’s a simpler version of the official Marche-style ragu recipe which you can find on the Accademia Italiana della Cucina website. However, I did change one ingredient which was the chicken giblets. Although chicken giblets are pretty traditional, I made this pasta with Marchigiano ragù with ground chicken instead. I’m not a big fan of chicken giblets in sauce. However, you can add them or replace the ground chicken with giblets if you like them.
Many recipes for pasta with Marchigiano ragù are seasoned with spices such as cloves or nutmeg. The recipe I followed didn’t include these spices. Instead, I used fresh rosemary, parsley, sage and marjoram.
As with many of my tomato based sauces, I like to use a combination of fresh cherry tomatoes and passata. The original of this recipe called for 500 g of peeled tomatoes. You can use fresh peeled tomatoes, canned peeled tomatoes or a combination of fresh and passata as I did.
The longer you let it simmer, the richer it will be!
Cooking Marchigiano ragù.
Like most Italian ragù recipes, this sauce requires long slow cooking. The longer you let it simmer, the richer it will be. So, for a really flavourful sauce, plan for 2-3 hours of stove-top cooking time. The results are so delicious the time it takes is definitely worth it!
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This traditional recipe from the Le Marche region in Central Italy is made with a chicken, beef and pork slow cooked ragù and melt in your mouth delicious pasta!
- 300 g maccheroncini di Campofilone (11oz) or spaghetti
- 1-2 carrots finely chopped
- 1-2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 100 g ground beef (3.5oz)
- 100 g ground chicken (3.5oz) or chicken giblets
- 100 g ground pork 3.5oz)
- 1-2 beef marrow bones
- 500 g sauce tomatoes fresh peeled or canned
- fresh parsley
- fresh marjoram
- fresh rosemary
- fresh sage
- 1/2 glass white wine
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 100 g pecorino cheese grated
In a deep skillet or dutch oven, brown the chopped onion in the olive oil, then add the chopped carrot and celery, salt and pepper. Add the beef bone and all the other meats. Then add a bunch of rosemary, marjoram, sage and parsley.
Cook stirring frequently until all the meat is browned. ( I started in a deep frying pan and then transferred the sauce to my Dutch oven to finish and simmer)
Add the wine. When the alcohol has evaporated, add the tomatoes. Cook partly covered over a low heat for 2-3 hours. Stir the sauce every now and again and if it seems dry add a little water. When the sauce is ready, remove the beef marrow bone.
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the maccheroncini until al dente (usually 1 minute) When the pasta is ready drain it and add to the pan with the sauce. ( I put the sauce back into a deep frying pan to make this easier as I cooked it in my Dutch oven)
Mix together carefully and serve immediately sprinkled with grated pecorino.
You can use other types of pasta with Marchigiano ragù. I would recommend you use a pasta that is similar to the one I used. Thin ribbons like tagliolini or strands such as spaghetti or even angel hair.
I used a combination of cherry tomatoes and passata, but the original recipe calls for peeled tomatoes. You can use either variant.