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Fusilli al ragu di angello
Fusilli al ragu di angello (Fussilli with lamb sauce)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Easter Sunday
Contributed by: Mary Melfi (her mother's recipe)

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For dough
Pasta all'Uovo (See recipe, "Fresh egg pasta dough recipe)

about 2 cups flour
3 eggs

For meat sauce (see recipe, "Basic red tomato sauce")
Cuts of lamb
Tomato paste (optional)
Salt and pepper

For garnish
Grated Pecorino cheese
Parsley or basil (optional)


o Make fresh egg pasta dough. Or use store-bought fusilli.

o Cut pieces of dough -- about 2 inches long by 1/2 inches wide. Use fusilli iron and shape dough (Or, twirl the pieces by hand).

o Saute lamb pieces.

o Make tomato sauce [follow recipe].

o Stew lamb in the tomato sauce.

o Cook fusilli.

o Toss fusilli in part of the sauce.

o Garnish each individual with extra sauce and grated Pecorino cheese.

o Serve the pasta first; then serve the stewed lamb with salad greens as a separate course.


Prior to World War II few people living in the countryside made fusilli as they were (and still) are difficult to do. Not only is skill required, but so is a special rod. In the 1930s few subsistence farmers would have owned such a tool. Back then "fusilli al ragu di angello" would have only been served on Easter Sunday and/or on some other festive holiday. Nowadays, of course, Italians make it anytime they feel like it. Photo: Mary Melfi.

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