Braised Oxtail Cavatelli with Butternut Squash, Fancy Mushrooms and White Truffle Butter
Chef Keith Pooler of Harvest – Cambridge, MA
Adapted by

Housemade Cavatelli with Braised Oxtail, Butternut Squash, Fancy Mushrooms and White Truffle Butter from Chef  Keith Pooler of Harvest in Cambridge, MA on StarChefs.comYield: 8 Servings


    Braised Oxtail:
  • 2 pounds oxtail
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • ½ head garlic
  • 1/4 gallon chicken stock

    Butternut Squash Dice:
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup butternut squash, diced
  • Salt, to taste

    Mushroom Stock:
  • ¼ pound Porcini mushrooms, dried
  • 1 quart water, filtered

    Cavatelli Sauce:
  • 3 cups mushroom stock
  • 1 cup oxtail braising liquid

    Cavatelli Pasta:
  • 1 Tablespoon duck fat
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 cups extra fine Semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups fancy mushrooms, sliced thick
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons white truffle butter
  • ½ cup parmesan grated cheese
  • 1/8 cup chopped chives

For Braised Oxtail:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Season the oxtails liberally with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a large roasting pan and sear each side of each oxtail. Remove from heat, and trim any excess fat. Heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the vegetables until they caramelize, approximately 5 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and place it in the oven for 3 hours. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pick the meat from the bones and set aside. Strain the liquid and reserve.

For Butternut Squash Dice:
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the butternut squash and sauté until golden brown. Stir the squash minimally as it caramelizes to retain texture. Remove squash from the pan and allow it to dry on paper towels. Season with salt and set aside.

For Mushroom Stock:
Place mushrooms and water in pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the stock to steep for 45 minutes. Strain through a chinois and allow to cool; set aside.

For Cavatelli Sauce:
Combine the liquids in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain liquid through a chinois. Allow the sauce to cool in an ice bath.

For Cavatelli Pasta:
Mix the duck fat and egg yolks together, blending until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Add the water and blend until smooth. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour, then roll it out on a dry, lightly floured surface to ¾-inch thickness. Cut the dough into ½-inch wide strips, and roll it through a cavatelli pasta maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cook the cavatelli in a large pot of salted boiling water for 4 minutes. Strain and immediately shock the pasta in an ice bath. When the pasta has cooled, remove it from the ice water and allow to dry.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the butter in a large pan, and brown the mushrooms over high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium and add the picked oxtail meat, squash, 1 quart of cavatelli pasta, and 4 cups of cavatelli sauce. Reduce the mixture until the sauce is noticeably clinging to the pasta. Add the truffle butter and parmesan cheese. Adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper, to taste.

Divide the pasta among heated serving plates. Garnish each dish with chives and serve immediately.

Wine Pairing:
Dessilani, “Fara,” Caramino Reserva, Piedmont, Italy, 2000
This is an earthy, dusty and dry Italian red. The rich cavatelli and truffle butter compliment the cherry flavors and dry tannins of this red. The tannins also compliment the oxtail’s fat and protein, while the wine’s earthiness compliment the mushrooms.

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   Published: March 2006