Pappardelle with pork ragu. This dish is part of a cooking challenge. I love a challenge. It’s really just a game that gives you a starting point to focus on. Two months ago I joined some bloggers for a bi-monthly cooking challenge. The last one was all about potatoes. I made super easy scallopped potatoes. This one is a pasta challenge.
Pappardelle Pasta with Pork Ragu
The first time I had something like this was actually in Florence, Italy. Many of the restaurants there have an item on the menu called pasta with wild boar sauce. Of course I would not find wild boar in the grocery store, but we do have pork.
I used a few pork ribs for this sauce, and let them cook in San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, and fresh basil over low heat. San Marzano tomatoes are readily available in cans here, but any canned tomatoes will do. San Marzano tomatoes are a plum tomato variety, that come from Italy, and and are more fleshy with less seeds and liquid than other tomatoes.
I chose a pappardelle noodle. Pappardelle is great with heavy rustic dishes as described in this article from Learn To Cook. However, any pasta would taste great with this sauce, so don’t worry if you don’t have, or can’t find pappardelle.
It did take all afternoon to cook, which reminds me of some of my Italian friends, whose families make what they called “Sunday Gravy.” Not that I can come close to the talents of generations of fine cooks. Still, my Italian husband really liked it, so that is good enough for me.
Don’t forget to check out the other “pasta” dishes in the challenge below.
- 1-2 pounds pork ribs (could use shoulder or butt)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 large can San Marzano tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
- Heat a heavy saucepan on high heat.
- Add olive and one clove of garlic that has been chopped into sticks.
- Stir for about 30 seconds and remove garlic.
- Turn head to medium high.
- Salt and pepper the ribs and add them to the pan.
- Brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes total.
- Remove from pan and drain oil.
- Puree tomatoes.
- Add the ribs, tomatoes, basil, salt and black pepper and pepper to the pan.
- Grate garlic into the pan.
- Broil to a boil, then turn down to low heat, cover and let simmer for 3-4 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart.
- Remove pork and shred with two forks.
- Add back to the pan and serve.