good eats: rigatoni with spicy calabrese style pork ragu

Pork-ragu
Last Sunday I made this rigatoni recipe from the February issue of Bon Appetit and it was divine.  The secret was simmering the sauce for close to four hours.  I know..four hours?  Who has time for that?  Make time because it's that delicious. My hung over husband was very pleased and immediately ate two bowls.  Enjoy!

Rigatoni with Calabrese Style Pork Ragu

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1" pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves (I didn't use the garlic because me and garlic don't get along)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used hot)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 pound mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano plus more

Pulse onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside. 

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add reserved vegetable mixture to drippings in pot, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes.

Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water in a small bowl; add to pot. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 6-8 minutes.

Add reserved meat, diced tomatoes and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, adding more water as needed to keep meat nearly submerged, until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Season with salt.  Add pinch of sugar.

DO AHEAD: Rag├╣ can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat before continuing.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce; stir to coat. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan.

recipe adapted from epicurious.com

 

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